Ericsson will extend the operator’s 5G radio access network (RAN) and implement hardware, software and service upgrades in cities like Manchester, Liverpool (pictured) and Cardiff.
Ericsson will upgrade 2G/3G/4G sites as part of a nationwide network modernisation program.
O2 is the brand Telefónica operates under in the UK, and elsewhere. It launched its UK 5G service last October.
The extended partnership with Ericsson includes hardware, software and service upgrades in the West of the UK, to improve coverage, and voice and data capacity.
The deployment will use products and solutions from the Ericsson’s Radio System portfolio which include multiband and wide-band 5G radios plus 5G-optimised basebands to build sites ready for future increases in 5G coverage and capacity.
The two will develop what they call an innovation cluster as a collaboration platform to evaluate and test future mobile architecture, technology and systems as O2 prepares to migrate its network to 5G Standalone (SA) architecture.
Ericsson will work with O2 with the rollout of commercial 5G in other cities, towns and locations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, bringing enhanced mobile broadband services and increased connectivity to millions of UK subscribers.
O2 UK and Virgin Media are awaiting approval to merge. O2 also deploys Nokia in the RAN.
Before the merger was announced, in March, Telefónica said it would collaborate with Altiostar, Gigatera Communications, Intel, Supermicro and Xilinx for trials of 4G and 5G Open RAN trials in UK, Germany, Spain and Brazil this year.