Chunghwa Telecom selects Nokia, Ericsson for rapid 5G build-out

Taiwanese operator taps Nordic comms giants for essential equipment in improving efficiency and user experience

Leading Taiwanese operator Chunghwa Telecom has turned to Europe for base stations, radio access network (RAN) equipment and VoLTE IP backhaul technology as it aims to be the first to enable 5G across the country, offering services such as 4K and virtual reality (VR).

Building on a partnership that began with 4G, the operator has turned to Ericsson for 5G radio system base stations and Ericsson’s 5G Core, including 5G evolved packet core, with Ericsson selected as the 5G core supplier. The 5G base stations will cover the 3.5GHz and 28GHz bands for better user experience.

The deal includes voice services through Ericsson’s Cloud VoLTE offerings, improving network efficiency and ensuring a flexible voice service experience. Ericsson will also provide the fronthaul and IP backhaul transport system using Fronthaul 6000 and Router 6000 products to support a C-RAN architecture infrastructure that Ericsson says will help Chunghwa with a smooth evolution to 5G.

The 5G solution will also include active antenna products while supporting beam-forming functions that reduce wireless signal interference and improve 5G speed. Ericsson believes Chunghwa will benefit from increased system capacity and improved 5G user experience through 4G/5G dual connectivity and LTE-NR DL data aggregation functions.

The system will also enable more effective management of data traffic, simplified operations and innovative applications, such as network slicing and edge computing. There will be automatic management of the network slicing function­, potentially enabling users to reduce the time to launch 5G services from weeks to hours. 

Chunghwa is also making use of Ericsson Spectrum Sharing to accelerate 5G network roll-out and coverage.

“In the process of upgrading to 5G networks, we need to shorten the time it takes to launch new features,” said Max Chen, president of Chunghwa Telecom’s mobile business group. “Ericsson’s 5G core solution enables our 4G core to flexibly evolve into a shared 4G/5G network. Ericsson’s cloud VoLTE solution will allow our customers to enjoy a more convenient and higher-quality 4G voice service today as well as 5G voice services in the future.”

In its bid supporting Chunghwa’s plans, Nokia is responsible for 5G radio network deployment in the Taiwan’s central and routhern region. Nokia will make use of Chunghwa’s existing LTE installed base and spectrum resources to launch 5G non-standalone involving multiple bands, paving the way to 5G standalone in the near future.

Nokia believes that with its deployed services, which form part of the deal, network evolution can be brought up to speed more quickly. The deployment will also see the network benefit from Nokia’s latest 5G powered by Reefshark solutions.

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In recent years, Nokia has worked with Chunghwa to prepare the operator for 5G, including 5G technology verification, interoperability and development testing, and use case demonstrations ranging from consumer applications to enterprise scenarios.

Chen added: “The transformation empowered by Nokia’s 5G technology will undoubtedly revolutionise the way we interact with the world. Chunghwa Telecom is committed to delivering industry-leading 5G to its consumer and enterprise customers, and we have every confidence in Nokia delivering this in a quick and reliable roll-out.”

The deal with Chunghwa came just as Nokia introduced a new Wi-Fi 6 mesh router and technology that it claims will deliver ultimate gigabit experience in a 5G world. It says the technology is the first to deliver a “seamless” transition for mobile devices moving between 5G and Wi-Fi 6 to maintain throughput and low latency for video streaming and cloud gaming applications.

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