BT Picks Ericsson to Deploy 5G Coverage in Major UK Cities Following Huawei Ban

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Sweden’s Ericsson announced Wednesday it had been selected by British operator BT to deploy 5G mobile networks in several major UK cities, making it responsible for 50 percent of BT’s total 5G traffic.

The telecoms equipment maker said it would “be a key BT partner for 5G deployment in the UK capitals London, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Cardiff and other major cities.”

“BT has a clear direction in how it wants to drive its 5G ambitions in the UK and we are delighted to be their partner in delivering that,” Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm said in a statement.

Building on a previous 5G deal between the companies, Ericsson will “manage around 50 percent of BT’s 5G traffic” once the deployment is complete.

Ericsson said it would also contribute to “modernise BT’s existing 2G and 4G… infrastructure.”

The deal comes in the wake of the UK banning China’s Huawei from its rollout of the next generation of mobile networks in July, as well as demanding operators phase out existing equipment from the Chinese telecoms giant.

The move followed pressure from the US which alleges Chinese firms are used to spy for Beijing, but both China and Huawei denies these allegations.

Nordic competitors Ericsson of Sweden and Nokia of Finland have been projected to benefit from countries banning Huawei, and in September Nokia won the first UK 5G deal since the ban, also with BT.


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