Ericsson wins femtocell supply contract

Ericsson has announced a €130 million contract with Cable & Wireless to provide equipment for a world-spanning GSM network to serve employees of the giant supermarket chain Tesco. The deployment will provide cellular coverage for the 400,000 workers in Tesco stores in Europe, Asia and the USA.

The contract will see Ericsson initially supplying femtocells and other equipment to provide the coverage in Tesco's 1,800 UK sites before deploying the system to the other 14 countries where Tesco operates.

C&W owns a small chunk of 1.8GHz spectrum the company acquired in 2006 and that is licensed for use with low-power GSM base stations, such as femto or picocells. Mobile calls made within a Tesco store should be routed over the Tesco intranet as VoIP, while outside the store employees should be able to roam onto the Orange network, at least in the UK, thanks to the deal the company signed back in March.

Ericsson said in addition to operating and managing the GSM network for five years, it would provide C&W with a range of professional services, including design and systems integration.

For more on this story:
- go to The Times Online

Related articles:
Orange ignores femtocells and launches 3G/Wi-Fi UMA service. Orange UMA story
Nokia Siemens looks to slash femtocell prices. Femtocell pricing story