Swedish kit vendor Ericsson has won at least part of the gig to deploy Deutsche Telekom’s 5G RAN and may end up doing the lot.

The Ericsson announcement speaks of ‘a new multi-year deal to deploy the service provider’s 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) across Germany,’ but makes no mention of what proportion of it. ‘According to the terms of the deal, several mobile sites will be upgraded to the latest 5G technology standard over the next few years,’ it continues to tease.

“We are pleased to have found a leading 5G supplier in Ericsson as a partner, who has also convinced us in the past in the modernization of our mobile access network,” said Claudia Nemat, Board Member for Innovation and Technology at DT. “After the reliable and on-time modernization, the bar for the 5G roll-out in the antenna network is naturally also high.”

DT has been catching some heat in Germany for its perceived over-reliance on Huawei as a kit vendor, so this announcement could be more significant than it seems on the surface. If no equivalent announcement from Huawei follows in the next few weeks then it may be safe to assume that DT is, at the very least, holding off on committing to the embattled Chinese vendor until German and EU politicians have got their ducks in a row on the matter.

In other DT news the operator has completed the rollout of its 5G -ready LTE -M network across Germany and is bringing its first commercial offers to the market. This marks the latest indication that NB-IoT has fallen out of fashion. DT has also teamed up with Orange, Singtel, and Telefónica to launch Go Ignite: 5G Open Call for Start-ups, which hopes to incubate clever ideas for making commercial use of 5G.



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