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  • Matthew Spencer - Tech Journalist

Telefónica buys Ericsson 5G equipment

Swedish multinational networking and communications company Ericsson (ERICb.ST) from Stockholm sells their 5G networking gear to Telefónica (TEF.MC). Telefónica will replace kits sourced from Huawei to use in Spain. Spanish source Expansion newspaper confirmed the news on Monday.

During the 2019 strategy announcement, Telefónica declared they’ll diversify suppliers. According to Reuters, the replacement will help upgrade to next-generation mobile networking. The mobile networking equipment deal was long due for an upgrade to 5G.

Telefónica’s move to replace Chinese gear and use Swedish ones is a new milestone for both companies. Implantation and control of software-defined networking (SDN) are for microwave networks. MINI-LINK supports the O2 network within the microwave product portfolio for better networking service.

According to Ericsson, the commination services provider (CSP) will improve the SDN interface and the nationwide O2 network. A press release by Ericsson on 10 September 2020 said the 5G rollout is underway with Telefónica Spain. They are targeting 75 per cent of the population coverage. Major cities of Madrid and Barcelona were to receive the upgrade in the first wave of development.

Simultaneous sharing of 5G and 4G spectrum makes up for quick 5G network rollout. Telefónica partnership with Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) will use mid-band 5G TDD (3.5 GHz) along with 4G/5G FDD (1900-2100 MHz) frequencies.

Telefónica Germany / O2 and Ericsson’s partnership to control a well-defined networking infrastructure will serve future networking needs for customers. Telefónica did not accurately answer how much they were spending on the gears. At the same time, Huawei and Ericsson did not disclose further information.

Previously we saw many rules on Chinese tech with crackdowns. The US stopped using technology from overseas in critical systems such as the network infrastructure. Telefónica’s embrace of open RAN technology allows network operators to use equipment from mixed vendors. This caused the abandonment of Chinese telecom gears and shifting towards Swedish ones. Though they send more budget products, finally, there is a bargaining chip with more than one option in hand.

The mobile network core is the most significant part of the project, but it also carries a radio access network with 1000s of nodes. More than 15.000 MINI-LINK microwaves are set up, and the recent evolution of Open Network Foundation ONF TR-532 is genuinely remarkable.

The mobile network infrastructures are getting buff everywhere. Though we’ve been in extended plans for 5G, there are areas where 4G hasn’t reached yet. Those areas will be taken under the projects of network upgrades.

Chief information and technology officer at Telefónica Deutschland / O2 Malik Rao said, "Ericsson and we are pioneering SDN within the microwave domain." Additionally, it talked about software-based approach, network complexities, manufacturing difficulties, etc. Added "continually developing new applications that can be made available across manufactures with a matter of weeks."

Head of customer unit Western Europe at Ericsson, Stefan Koetz, talked about the success of both companies as "Ericsson technology and thought leadership in providing microwave technology that supports standardised and open interfaces that enables a maximum of automation for the ease of operations."

The partnership of Telefónica Germany / O2 and Ericsson started in 2014, and since then, they have helped each other shape the telecommunications industry. But with recent bans of Chinese gears in the US and European market due to security issues, more neighbouring companies received the much-deserved chance of a partnership.

Two years ago, Telefónica announced the gathered venture with diversifying technical challenges. According to previous statements, the deployment of 5G (SA) services will start this year.

According to Telefónica, Ericsson, and Nokia 5G Standalone (SA), radio networks will be band 3.5 GHz and 700 MHz respectively across Spain to Nordic vendors. Due to the allegations of Huawei’s security risk, the infrastructure equipment from Ericsson will keep the lights on for network upgrades.


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