Wednesday, 17 April 2019 22:27

Ericsson, Swisscom team up to deliver European commercial ‘5G first'

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City of Bern, Switzerland deploys commercial 5G network City of Bern, Switzerland deploys commercial 5G network

Ericsson and Switzerland’s largest telecommunications service provider, Swisscom, have partnered to switch on what they say is the first large-scale commercial 5G network in Europe to support commercially available smartphones.

The long-term strategic partners went live with the networko on 17 April, following Swisscom’s securing of a commercial 5G licence.

The two companies say that, as all the other component parts were already in place, securing the licence meant the partners simply had to switch on the network.

Swisscom had already flagged the impending launch of the network, and introduced smartphone and mobile router ecosystem partners, at a 10 April ceremony in Zurich.

The commercial 5G network, and related 5G services, are now available in 54 cities and communities in Switzerland, including the major population areas of Zürich, Bern, Geneva, Basel, Lausanne and Lucerne.

Ericsson says subscribers with commercial 5G smartphones and routers in covered areas will immediately benefit from the high speed, low latency and enhanced mobile broadband features of 5G services across infotainment, gaming, virtual reality, and immersive media experiences.

And they say the 5G network switch-on also opens the door to exploring new opportunities in the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.

Swisscom chief executive Urs Schaeppi says: “With the launch of the first commercial 5G network in Switzerland, we are laying the foundation for diverse, new applications and business models. This will not only be great for Switzerland but also inspiring for the people who will now be part of the digital world whether they are living in the city, countryside, or in the mountains.”

“This is a momentous occasion for Swisscom and Europe – 5G is now commercially live. As we continue our close ties with Swisscom, we are also strengthening the 5G ecosystem by reducing the time-to-market for chipset and device makers,” says Arun Bansal, president and head of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson.

“We ensure multivendor operability with 5G devices and networks, enabling more 5G devices to come to the market so consumers can enjoy the benefits of 5G services.”

Swisscom previously announced its aim to have its 5G network operational all over Switzerland by the end of 2019 – with close to 90% nationwide population coverage.

The company says this will be achieved by using Ericsson Spectrum Sharing software that “dynamically shares spectrum between 4G and 5G carriers based on traffic demand”.

“This solution will enable fast nationwide 5G coverage with 5G-ready 4G radios and today more consumers are aware of the benefits of fibre. However, there is still a long way to go until every citizen and business has access to the benefits of full fibre.”

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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