The big picture: The race to 5G is heating up. Between deals with Ericsson and Nokia, T-Mobile has now invested $7 billion into expediting its nationwide 5G rollout.
T-Mobile in July announced a $3.5 billion partnership with Nokia to accelerate the deployment of its nationwide 5G network. On Tuesday, the nation’s third largest wireless provider matched that investment through a similar agreement with Ericsson.
As per the deal (also valued at $3.5 billion), Ericsson will supply T-Mobile with the latest 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and software. The partnership also includes access to Ericsson’s digital services solutions such as dynamic orchestration, Ericsson Cloud Core and business support systems (BSS) which will assist T-Mobile in providing customers with “groundbreaking” 5G experiences.
T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray said that while the other guys just make promises, T-Mobile is putting its money where its mouth is. “With this new Ericsson agreement, we’re laying the groundwork for 5G and with Sprint, we can supercharge the 5G revolution,” he added.
T-Mobile said in April that it would buy Sprint for $26 billion and is currently awaiting regulatory approval.
AT&T earlier this week announced plans to bring 5G technology to Houston, Jacksonville, New Orleans, San Antonio and Louisville by the end of the year. In total, AT&T has promised to deliver 5G to a dozen cities.
Verizon also tapped Ericsson to supply hardware for its 5G network buildout.