Ericsson wins TDC contract for 5G network rollout

Ericsson mobile transport 5G
TDC will upgrade its entire RAN portfolio with Ericsson’s 5G platform. (Ericsson)

Denmark-based operator TDC has selected Ericsson to overhaul its mobile network and deploy 5G commercial services. Ericsson will also provide managed services under the agreement through its Operations Engine.

TDC will upgrade its entire RAN portfolio with Ericsson’s 5G platform, which includes Ericsson’s radio system and its dual-mode 5G cloud core solution. Under the deal, Ericsson will also be working with TDC to upgrade its 4G LTE network. 

TDC will begin rolling out Ericsson 5G NR hardware and software through 2019, and will conduct a pilot of the network with select customers. The operator hopes to launch commercial 5G services by the end of 2020 as part of its wider “Digital Denmark” initiative to support a new digital economy era through 5G, IoT and “Industry 4.0” applications and services.

“5G will empower a new era for the digital economy and will allow Denmark to build on its position as a global digital frontrunner,” said Allison Kirkby, president and CEO of TDC Group, in a statement.

The two companies have also signed a five-year managed services contract. Under that deal, Ericsson’s Operations Engine, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, will handle network operations, field services, customer experience management, network planning and optimization for TDC. One hundred TDC operations professionals will be transferred to Ericsson.

The announcement comes amid reports that TDC was also considering selecting Huawei as its 5G equipment vendor. Several countries, including Japan and Australia, have banned Huawei equipment from 5G network deployments over security fears.

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According to local media reports, Huawei and Ericsson were both in the running for the TDC contract, and the decision was ultimately based on business interests, not security concerns.

“There were two bids and a tough negotiating process, and I’m extremely pleased that we ended up with Ericsson as a partner on our new 5G network,” Kirkby told local media.

Ericsson has announced a total of 15 5G deployment contracts around the world, with operators in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.