Ericsson and China Telecom have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate the development of commercial 5G and promote 5G technological innovation, the vendor said in a statement.
Signed at China Unicom’s 5G
Innovation and Cooperation Conference in Shenzhen, China, the agreement
strengthens the strategic partnership between the companies. The China Telecom
MoU is Ericsson’s forty-fifth announced service provider 5G partnership.
In addition to testing the technical networking scheme, the partners have completed innovative 5G projects, such as the live 4K high-definition broadcast of a marathon; live 8K HD broadcast of the Women’s World Club Volleyball Championship; 360-degree panoramic live broadcasting, and driving demos.
Last month, the company’s President and CEO Börje Ekholm said during a conference call with investors that Ericsson aims to obtain a share of 5G contracts in the Chinese market once local carriers start to deploy the technology.
“Our estimate is that they will commence
rollouts in the later part of the year. It’s very hard to today see how large
those will be. But they will be large compared to the rest of the world,” the
“China today has
60% of the number of base stations in 4G of the total global market. So, it
does not matter what pace they decide [for 5G deployments], it would be
significant. We feel that this is an area where we want to participate. We’re
investing in the market to be a participant, to get a share. What we ultimately
will be awarded will, of course, depend on the competitiveness of our offering,
and it’s very hard to judge that today.”
At a global level, the Swedish vendor has already publicly announced 16 wins in the 5G segment.
Ericsson also announced a partnership with China Unicom to develop and deploy
AI-based managed services solutions to improve network quality and consumer
experiences for the Chinese carrier.
The companies will establish a
joint mobile network AI lab to conduct comprehensive research on AI
applications for network design and optimization services during the next two
years. Resulting innovations will be deployed in China Unicom’s network.
Working in close collaboration with China Unicom at the Hubei-based lab, Ericsson said it has already successfully integrated the first online deployment for AI-based cell issue classification that is used in daily operations to help improve customer performance. Together with the Ericsson VoLTE E2E (Voice over LTE end-to-end) intelligent optimization solution, this is driving innovation forward for a key partner.
Wang Rui, deputy general manager of operation and maintenance department of China Unicom Group, that China Unicom and Ericsson are “long-term strategic partners. This joint lab for mobile network artificial intelligence, is an important attempt in the field of AI. It is of great significance to China Unicom operations and maintenance department, Hubei Unicom and Ericsson. Together we aim to explore the development of AI applications for network services and apply these on a large scale throughout our network in China.”
“Our collaboration with China Unicom for our first AI innovation lab for network design and optimization services will both enhance AI-based use cases around smart design and intelligent optimization capabilities, and allow for new use cases based on the operator’s needs,” said Juan Manuel Melero, head of network design and pptimization for Ericsson. “It will also enable China Unicom to continue improving network performance and user experience”.