Japanese carrier KDDI has selected Ericsson and Samsung for the deployment of a next generation 5G network in Japan.
Earlier this week, KDDI said it will also work with Nokia for the deployment of its 5G network infrastructure.
Ericsson said in a statement that it has been selected by KDDI as the primary 5G vendor. Under the agreement, Ericsson will supply KDDI with Radio Access Network equipment, including products and solutions from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio.
The Swedish vendor highlighted that the equipment will allow KDDI to maximize its spectrum assets and enable the service provider to roll out commercial 5G services in several parts of Japan on their sub-6GHz and 28GHz bands for 5G New Radio (NR).
“Having established our important partnership with KDDI in 2013, we have now expanded our collaboration efforts,” said Chris Houghton, SVP, head of market area for North East Asia at Ericsson. “We are excited about our involvement in KDDI’s 5G network buildout, which will provide a sound basis for our future collaboration as well as allowing our partner to offer users a whole new generation of mobile services.”
KDDI and Ericsson have carried out a large number of joint tests across a wide range of 5G use cases on the 4.5GHz and 28GHz frequency bands, including the interworking between 5G and LTE.
Samsung Electronics will also supply 5G network equipment to KDDI, Japanese press reported, citing industry sources.
Samsung didn’t provide specific information about the value of the 5G contract, but industry insiders speculate that it could reach $2 billion for the next five years.
The deal follows Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong’s visit to Japan in May, where he had several meetings with executives from Japanese mobile carriers to seek business opportunities in the 5G network market.
Samsung also has been a long-time partner to KDDI, previously supplying 3G and 4G LTE network equipment to the Japanese operator.
On September 30, KDDI also announced it had selected Nokia as a primary partner to upgrade its 4G network to 5G technology.
Under the terms of the agreement, Nokia will deploy its Airscale radio access solution, which supports both 4G and 5G operations.
Nokia is an existing supplier to KDDI across multiple technologies, including radio, fixed networks, mobile core network and multiple software solutions. The 5G network will support KDDI across both centimeter-wave and millimeter-wave 5G frequency bands and can be deployed in both distributed and centralized architectures.
The network will be deployed across Japan and will deliver enhanced mobile broadband to consumers and enhanced Machine-Type Communications (eMTC) enabling multiple new applications and services for industries in the 5G era. The network architecture will also be transformed to enable 5G Ultra Reliable Low Latency Connectivity (URLLC).
KDDI expects the first commercial 5G services to be available from March 2020, with more than 93% coverage of 5G base station areas specified by Japan’s telecom regulation body by the end of March 2025.
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