Ericsson has revealed that it has signed 81 5G launch agreements with network operators around the world, claiming that it is in pole position among network equipment vendors.
Speaking at Ericsson’s pre-MWC event in London last week, the company’s executive vice president and head of business area networks, Fredrik Jejdling, said that the company was in great shape to capitalise on a busy year ahead.
"We've deployed 24 [5G] networks across the world. We've been first to deploy networks across four continents. So for us, it's hard to see anyone ahead of us currently," he said.
Ericsson has launched 24 5G networks in 14 countries across the world. Here in the Middle East it has worked hand in hand with Etisalat in the UAE, STC in Saudi Arabia and Batelco in Bahrain, as well as a number of other regional operators.
Ericsson has had a traditionally strong presence in the US and that looks set to continue into the 5G era, with the Swedish vendor involved in 65 per cent of US 5G city deployments to date.
Ericsson clams to have shipped over 5 million 5G ready base stations and radios to the market since 2015 and is a pioneering force in spectrum sharing technology, which allows operators to deliver both 4G and 5G services over the same spectrum. As supply of 5G spectrum struggles to keep pace with demand, spectrum sharing is likely to be one of the defining technologies of 2020.
Ericsson predicts that 2020 will be the breakthrough year for 5G, with global 5G subscriptions set to rise from 13 million today to over 100 million by the end of the year, according to figures from the latest edition of Ericsson’s Mobility Report.