The second half of 2019 saw Ericsson ramp up live commercial 5G rollouts around the world. Join us for the second installment of our two-part review of the year that saw 5G become a commercial reality for millions.
In case you missed it, check out part-one of our Year in Review 2019 – January to June.
July – More 5G launches
Momentum continued to build for live 5G network deployments in the second half of the year, starting with Vodafone UK’s launch of 5G for consumer and business customers in London on July 3. Italian service provider TIM also went live with 5G commercial services in Rome, Turin and Naples. We built on our successful 5G partnership with Swisscom, deploying 5G Radio Dots in the Swiss service provider’s live 5G commercial network and simultaneously making the first 5G data call in Europe between two offices over the 5G Radio Dot System..
Vodafone Germany launched 5G, with CEO Hannes Ametsreiter activating the first 5G base stations.
August – The 5G switch builds momentum
Russia also experienced its first taste of live commercial 5G, when Ericsson and Tele2 launched Russia's first 5G zone in central Moscow on Tele2's commercial network. The non-stop outdoor 5G coverage is live in Tverskaya Street, the busiest part of the Russian capital, stretching between Red Square to Sadovoe Ring.
Ireland was next to switch on 5G, with Ericsson and Vodafone Ireland launching the first commercial 5G network on August 13. August also saw Ericsson enabling an interesting 5G use case in Portugal as Vodafone Portugal made a 5G hologram call to TVI Studios in Lisbon using our 5G technology. The HD hologram form of a reporter from a national news program was able to interact with the CTO of Vodafone, João Nascimento, in 3D with minimal transmission latency.
September – More milestones with partners
September saw the importance of spectrum sharing in the spotlight.
Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) emerged as a key area of interest in communications service providers’ 5G deployment strategies. Together with our partner Qualcomm Technologies, we announced the successful completion of a breakthrough 5G data call using dynamic spectrum sharing, proving its viability and ability to accelerate nationwide 5G deployments.
In another September technology milestone, we partnered with Qualcomm once again to successfully complete a standalone 5G data connection in a test environment. Standalone 5G represents the second phase of commercial 5G, where standalone deployments will utilize a new 5G core network to provide more 5G capabilities.
October – 5G benefits presented on the world stage, while the deals roll on
The benefits of 5G were discussed at the UN Global Goals Week, as we presented findings from the Ericsson Italian 5G Sustainable Smart Ports project.
New 5G deals and rollouts were announced, with Telia Norway selecting Ericssonas its sole 5G RAN provider; Korea’s LG U+ selecting Ericsson for 5G RAN and 5G Core; and UK communications service provider O2 UK launching its commercial 5G network, including our 5G Cloud Core and 5G RAN products and solutions.
November – More partnering and 5G deals
Innovation and partnering was in focus as we highlighted our 5G collaboration with Chinese technology partner OPPO, through the establishment of a joint lab in Shenzhen, China.
Our global 5G footprint continued to grow in November. In Bahrain, communications service provider Zain selected Ericsson to build its 5G network , with the first commercial 5G services expected to go live before the end of 2019. In South Africa, MTN selected Ericsson as its 5G network modernization vendor, where we will supply 5G products and solutions from our Radio Access Network, transport and Core portfolios. And in Australia, Optus switched on 5G with Ericsson, solidifying our position as the leading supplier of 5G in Australia.
December – closing 5G’s first year
December saw the resolution of investigations by the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, with whom Ericsson fully cooperated on a voluntary basis, regarding historical compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
We teamed up with Denmark’s TDC to drive moves towards 5G commercialization, while in Norway we partnered with Telia and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology highlighted to show how 5G enabled an AI-captained small ferry trial in Trondheim.
Stockholm’s Nobel Museum played host as Australian students, Team Adelaide Bio AUV, were announced as the winners of the 2019 Ericsson Innovation Awards, which attached more than 2,000 entrants globally.
In another Ericsson Spectrum Sharing milestone, we connected continents with a data call between Bern, Switzerland, and Gold Coast, Australia using Ericsson Spectrum Sharing over live commercial 5G networks and commercial form factor 5G smartphones.
Also in Australia, a significant advance in network orchestration and automation was made as we combined with Telstra to successfully deploy the industry’s first live cloud-native container-based Evolved Packet Core for 4G and 5G services.
We teamed up with Microsoft to accelerate the delivery of new connected car services worldwide, with the integration of Ericsson’s Connected Vehicle Cloud and Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform.
As the year closes out, Ericsson has 78 commercial 5G agreement or contracts with unique communications service providers, 31 publicly announced 5G contracts, and are live with 24 5G networks across the globe.
And with that … we’re looking forward to 2020.