Milestone for network
BT signs 5G deal with Ericsson to replace Huawei
Improved service is promised for businesses and consumers (pic: Ericsson)
BT has moved swiftly to replace Huawei with Ericsson to reassure the market that its roll-out of 5G infrastructure is back on track.
About half of the 5G traffic which BT expects to handle, along with its mobile network EE, will be managed by Ericsson.
Nokia will supply most of the remaining equipment, including 5G base stations and antennas, to radio sites across the UK.
Today’s deal comes after the UK government banned Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network because of concerns by the US over the company’s links to the Chinese military.
The UK government ordered British telecoms firms to stop buying new 5G equipment from Huawei by the end of this year and remove the company from the 5G network entirely by 2027.
The roll-out will be delayed by as much as three years, though the signing of today’s agreement should give consumers a reason to commit to 5G devices.
Ericsson’s 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) connectivity will be used in major cities including Edinburgh, London, Belfast and Cardiff.
Ru Bhikha, mobiles specialist at Uswitch.com, said: “BT has acted quickly to reassure the market that its 5G infrastructure will be ready for a post-Huawei future.
“With deals now in place with both Ericsson and Nokia, two well-known and established telecoms technology providers, BT is sending a clear message – its 5G roll-out remains firmly on track and consumers can be confident that investing in a 5G handset will be worth their while.
“Around a quarter of Britons say they intend to switch to a 5G handset in the coming year, and this month’s launch of 5G-capable handsets by Apple will only accelerate that trend.
“All of the network providers, including BT, need to ensure the infrastructure is there to support this leap forward.”