T-Mobile to expand 5G network via new deals with Ericsson, Nokia

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T-Mobile US announced five-year, multi-billion-dollar agreements with Nordic vendors Ericsson and Nokia to continue expanding its 5G network nationwide.

Part of the network investment following last year’s merger with Sprint, these new deals will enable T-Mobile US to add 5G coverage, capacity, speed and advanced technical capabilities across all of its spectrum bands.

“These agreements with our longstanding 5G partners Nokia and Ericsson will help us take our 5G leadership even further, delivering ever-better experiences for our customers for years to come,” said Neville Ray, T-Mobile US President of Technology.

The carrier said that the new 5G deals include advanced network capabilities such as 5G carrier aggregation.

In a separate statement, Nokia said that it will supply its AirScale radio access solutions – including macro and small cells across low, mid-band and mmWave spectrum. Massive MIMO will allow T-Mobile US’ 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum to be utilized to its full potential, Nokia said. 

Under the new agreement, the Finnish vendor said it will continue to expand T-Mobile US’ extended range (low-band) 5G coverage. Both the extended range and “Ultra Capacity” 2.5 GHz enhancements will augment user experience and network capacity by leveraging T-Mobile’s multi-layer spectrum strategy, Nokia added.

“The expanded and upgraded 5G network that leverages all spectrum bands will deliver exciting new solutions to even more people and businesses, and our technology will play a fundamental role in delivering these compelling connectivity experiences for work and play,” said Pekka Lundmark, president and CEO of Nokia.

In a separate statement, Ericsson said that it will expand T-Mobile US’ 5G footprint by supplying equipment, software, and related services from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio.

The new Ericsson deal includes the supply of active and passive antennas, providing T-Mobile US with support across its entire spectrum portfolio.

Ericsson highlighted that its technology will help T-Mobile US develop and implement 5G use cases and improve 5G spectral efficiency. T-Mobile US’ 5G buildout also includes 5G Standalone (SA) architecture, voice over new radio (VoNR), New Radio (NR) carrier aggregation, network slicing, and multi-user massive MIMO.

T-Mobile US and Ericsson have been working together to design, build and expand the T-Mobile 5G nationwide network since early 2018, Ericsson noted.

T-Mobile US launched nationwide standalone 5G network last summer, and recently carried out what it claimed to be world’s first 5G standalone (SA) data session with New Radio Carrier Aggregation (NR CA).

T-Mobile US also said it plans to add advanced technical capabilities like voice over 5G (VoNR), network slicing, and multi-user massive MIMO to its 5G network.

T-Mobile US said that its 5G network currently covers 280 million people across nearly 1.6 million square miles across the country.  The carrier’s “ultra capacity” 5G can deliver average speeds of 300 Mbps with peaks approaching 1 Gbps and is now available in more than 1,000 cities and towns, covering more than 106 million people.



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