Chuck Robbins and Hans Vestberg discuss the agreement. Chuck Robbins and Hans Vestberg discuss the agreement.

Telecom and IT giants Ericsson and Cisco have formed a “next-generation strategic partnership” to create the networks of the future.

The partnership will combine the best of both companies: routing, data center, networking, cloud, mobility, management and control, and global services capabilities.

Ericsson, together with Cisco, will offer end-to-end leadership across network architectures for 5G, cloud and IP, and the Internet of Things.

The companies said that the announcement is supported by multiple agreements including a global service partner agreement, as well as a broad reseller agreement. The parties have also agreed to discuss FRAND policies and enter a licensing agreement for their respective patent portfolios.

Hans Vestberg, president and CEO, Ericsson, says: “This partnership fortifies the IP strategy we have developed over the past several years and it is a key step forward in our company transformation.”

Chuck Robbins, CEO, Cisco, said: “With the pace the market is moving, the successful companies will be those who build the right strategic partnerships to accelerate innovation, growth, and customer value. Today’s announcement brings together two visionary industry leaders, with complementary cultures and track records of innovation. We have worked with Ericsson during the last year on developing a strategy for future industry leadership, and can start executing together today. Our partnership will drive growth for both companies, unique value for our customers, and incredible innovation for the industry.”

The agreement was broadly welcomed by the two firms’ telecoms customers. Vittorio Colao, group CEO at Vodafone, said: “We welcome the partnership between Ericsson and Cisco which we believe will accelerate the pace of innovation across the communications industry as ultrafast networks, cloud services, and the Internet of Things become increasingly central to our customers' needs.”

Randall Stephenson, CEO at AT&T, added, “Cisco and Ericsson's announcement further reinforces the importance of seamlessly integrating IP and wireless solutions. This type of initiative is in line with the plans and investments we’ve laid out over the last four years for integrated solutions.”