The big picture: The race to 5G is heating up.
The deal includes core network hardware and software, including products from the recently updated Ericsson Radio System (ERS) range. The carrier also said Nokia would help make its "600 MHz and 28 GHz millimeter wave 5G capabilities compliant with 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standards" - echoing its current plans with Ericsson.
During the same event, AT&T also announced the rollout of mobile 5G in five United States cities: Houston, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans, and San Antonio - in addition to previously announced markets: Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, and Waco.
Ubiquitous transport solutions for both 4G and 5G are gaining strong momentum with service providers and Ericsson's flagship mobile backhaul product - Router 6000 - empowers close to 60 operators. "This successful over-the-air test using the band that will offer 5G services in North America, also demonstrates the network and ecosystem readiness we have achieved". This comes on top of another $3.5 billion deal T-Mobile signed with Nokia.
All four major USA operators have advanced 5G roadmaps with the first services due to go live later this year.
Niklas Heuveldop, President and Head of Ericsson North America, says: "We have recently chose to increase our investments in the United States to be closer to our leading customers and better support them with their accelerated 5G deployments; thereby bringing 5G to life for consumers and enterprises across the country". This agreement marks a major milestone for both companies. In its deal with Ericsson, the "uncarrier" notes that it will use the infrastructure supplier's 5G portfolio to expand existing LTE capacity needs while "future-proofing the network".
Both European vendors have undoubtedly benefited from the U.S. clampdown on Chinese rivals Huawei Technologies Co.
Not to be outdone, Verizon announced this week that it successfully made the first over-the-air, end-to-end data transmission on a commercial 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) network in Washington, DC.
Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks at Ericsson, says: "This accomplishment shows that 5G is ready for business".