Wind Tre adds RAN refresh to Ericsson's to-do list

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Wind Tre has added RAN modernisation to Ericsson's to-do as part of the Swedish vendor's network upgrade project for the Italian operator.

The multi-year radio access network transformation deal, which will begin in October 2018, will see Ericsson provide 5G-ready hardware, software and services to the operator's 31 million customers..

Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Europe & Latin America at Ericsson, said: " Our strengthened partnership with Wind Tre will bring the best radio access solutions on the market to life in their nationwide network.

"This will help to ensure that Wind Tre delivers the best user experience possible to its customers in an increasingly data hungry and ultra-low-latency demanding market.” 

In April, Wind Tre chose Ericsson to virtualise its network.

The five year project will transform its core network through the deployment of virtual Evolved Packet Core, NFV infrastructure, system integration and support.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that ZTE was originally pegged to handle the RAN project for Wind Tre.

However, the Chinese vendor was hit by a trade ban by the United States in April, over concerns it had been trading with Iran and North Korea.

This week saw a loosening of the crackdown after the US said it could restart some activities.

Wind Tre is in the process of integrating the Vimpelcom and Three Italy networks in the wake of their merger in late 2016, which created the company.

The Italian operator is spending €6 billion over the next five years in transforming its infrastructure.