Orange, Ericsson forge wide-ranging 5G technology development partnership

Ericsson Networks Products head Arun Bansal
Arun Bansal, SVP and head of business unit Network Products at Ericsson

Ericsson announced a 5G collaboration with Orange designed to enable the operator to begin gaining experience of the next generation technology from 2017.

The partnership will utilise Orange’s network and Ericsson’s 5G technology to develop technology building blocks and proof of concepts. Such development will pave the way for pilot trials of 5G by Orange throughout Europe, Ericsson revealed in a statement announcing the tie-up.

Alain Maloberti, SVP of Orange Labs Networks, said the operator agreed the deal to aid its preparations for deploying 5G technology in 2020. “By joining forces with Ericsson, we will create for our customers a solid network capable of delivering a wide range of services, from greater data speed everywhere to specialised services for cities and industries,” he explained.

The companies plan to develop 5G use cases and service scenarios as part of the collaboration. The duo will focus on technical alignment and external demonstrations covering wireless multi-gigabit internet access in suburban and rural settings, mission critical Internet of Things (IoT) applications for industry and consumers, systems enabling ultra-large mobile coverage, and connected cars.

Arun Bansal, SVP and head of business unit Network Products at Ericsson, said the IoT in particular requires operators and equipment vendors to take the capabilities of networks to a new level. “5G will not only be built for consumers, who need a seamless experience with their phones and connected devices, but also for the digitalisation of entire industries and society.”

In addition to developing the various use cases for 5G, the companies also plan to work on methods for evolving 4G technology to the next generation. Work in this area will include energy and cost efficiencies, and the use of SDN and NFV technologies.

Orange is the latest European operator that Ericsson has announced 5G research partnerships with in recent months. In July, it revealed it had developed a 5G smart network edge prototype in conjunction with Vodafone. That announcement came hot on the heels of Ericsson winning a sole infrastructure contract covering the construction of 5G trial networks in Germany and South Korea, in a three-way partnership with Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom.

A recent study conducted for the European Commission conducted by InterDigital Europe, Real Wireless, Tech4i2, and Trinity College Dublin, predicted that the rollout of 5G will generate trickle-down benefits for Europe worth €141.8 billion ($158.5 billion) annually by 2025.

For more:
- see this Ericsson announcement

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