Ericsson wins exclusive 5G contract with Cosmote Greece

Swedish comms firm tapped for 5G radio access network to strengthen Greek provider’s existing networks and boost network quality, capacity, speed and operational efficiency

In a major network modernisation deal, Ericsson has been selected as sole 5G radio access network (RAN) supplier by Cosmote, the mobile arm of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) and Greece’s largest mobile communications service provider.

Cosmote, part of the Deutsche Telekom Group, is targeting 2021 for the commercial launch of 5G services. That will follow the expected auction of 5G spectrum by Greece’s National Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT) in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Cosmote has already implemented Greece’s first 5G test network, in the municipality of Zografou, a suburb of Athens, achieving live speeds of over 12Gbps. At the same time, parent OTE has been contributing to the design and development of new 5G technology, infrastructure and services by participating in 22 European research projects that aim to enhance the competitiveness of the European telecommunications market globally.

Cosmote said its selection of Ericsson was the result of a tender procedure and it can now proceed with the full modernisation of its mobile access network, fully replacing its 2G/3G/4G/4G+ equipment, which will be gradually upgraded to 5G.

The telco said the new equipment will enable it to continue offering a seamless mobile internet experience and high-quality voice services to its customers, significantly improving the energy footprint of the 2G/3G/4G/4G+ mobile network by being more environmentally friendly and reducing energy consumption.

As part of the transformation to the next-generation infrastructure, 5G RAN products and systems from the Ericsson Radio System 5G portfolio will be deployed. Ericsson says its radios and basebands will improve the carbon footprint of Cosmote’s current network, contributing to what it describes as “significant” energy savings.

“5G is the future of telecommunications and a necessary precondition for the Gigabit Society,” said Michael Tsamaz, chairman and CEO of the OTE Group. “It is the underlying technology which will be used by all the innovative applications that will change our lives in the near future.

“OTE Group creates the state-of-the-art infrastructure that our country and society need in the new digital era. We invest heavily to enable our customers to enjoy the innovative services and products brought by 5G. With technology and innovation, we create a better world for all.”

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Arun Bansal, president of Europe and Latin America at Ericsson, added: “5G is a platform that will change lives, business and society in Greece for the better. It will create opportunities for Cosmote in industry and digital partnerships that will allow Greece to compete in technology innovation. We will work closely with Cosmote to ensure that it, and its customers, benefit from this network modernisation.”

The deal with Cosmote adds to Ericsson’s current roster of 5G projects that currently stands at 86 commercial 5G agreements and contracts with unique operators, of which 39 are publicly announced 5G deals, including 27 live 5G networks on four continents.

The latest deal comes hot on the heels of Taiwanese operator Chunghwa Telecom choosing Ericsson as its core supplier for 5G in a contract including radio system base stations and 5G evolved packet core. The 5G base stations will cover the 3.5GHz and 28GHz bands for better user experience.

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