Ericsson has been selected by Korean communication service provider LG U+ as a 5G radio access network (RAN) vendor for its 3.5 GHz Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G network. Ericsson has already been selected by LG U+ as a preferred 5G core network vendor.
This first 5G RAN contract with LG U+ sees Ericsson deploying 3GPP standards-based 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and software from Ericsson Radio System (part of Ericsson’s 5G platform).
RAN deployment got underway in October 2019. Ericsson solutions are going commercially live as they are deployed in the LG U+ network.
The new RAN deal means that Ericsson now has commercial 5G RAN contracts with all three major communication service providers in Korea.
Korea is among the global frontrunners in 5G. The Korean government acted early to support the drive towards 5G, including the allocation and auction of related spectrum. The country’s communication service providers simultaneously switched on their commercial 5G networks in April 2019, to support some of the first commercially available 5G smartphones globally.
Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT says the number of 5G subscriptions have grown rapidly since then, passing the three million mark in late September. The current growth rate in 5G subscriptions could see the five million mark being passed by the end of 2019.
All communication service providers in Korea are also exploring 5G opportunities in Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) such as: smart manufacturing, including automation and artificial intelligence (AI), enterprise opportunities, smart cities, transportation, and public safety.
Job creation from 5G is one of the Korean government’s key expectations in its support for 5G, including the benefits of growth in 5G-supported strategic industries and related increased exports.
Daehee Kim, Vice President, Network Strategy, LG U+, says: “We are delighted to have Ericsson as a trusted 5G Core and 5G RAN vendor. Ericsson’s end-to-end 5G technology leadership is key to ramping-up our nationwide 5G ambitions in Korea. Ericsson will help us to deliver the very best enhanced mobile broadband experiences for our subscribers, as well as opening up innovation and job creation opportunities through the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 and digitalized society.”
Hakan Cervell, Head of Ericsson Korea, Ericsson, says: “We’re working in close partnership with LG U+ to strengthen its 5G network in Korea. We look forward to building the partnership to help LG U+ meet its 5G needs as its subscriber base grows across enhanced mobile broadband, IoT, and Industry 4.0. We’re also delighted to now be working with all three communication providers in Korea to use our 5G abilities to keep the country at the forefront of 5G innovation and benefits.”