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Ericsson’s 5G Win in Australia

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Ericsson becomes Telstra’s key 5G partner

Ericsson’s (ERIC) race for 5G network development investment in Australia recently received a boost. Telstra, Australia’s largest telecom company, has signed Ericsson as its key 5G partner.

Ericsson is in a race with Nokia (NOK) to supply equipment and technology for Australia’s 5G network development. Australia, one of the countries vying to lead in 5G adoption, has banned products from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from being used in developing its national 5G network. This ban seems to have minimized competition for Ericsson and Nokia in their chase for Australia’s 5G investment.

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Telstra’s 5G sites

Telstra has lined up more than $700.0 million to invest in developing its mobile network in Australia by June 2019. It’s also one of the operators expected to participate in Australia’s 5G spectrum auction in November.

Telstra has activated 50 5G-enabled sites across Australia and is aiming to activate 200 5G-enabled sites by the end of the year as it prepares for 5G rollout around 2020. Ericsson predicts there could be as many as 1.0 billion 5G subscribers globally by the end of 2023.

Ericsson’s Australian customers

Ericsson counts Vodafone Australia (VOD) among its Australian customers. VOD is merging with rival TPG Telecom. In 2017, Ericsson and its partner Cisco Systems (CSCO) won a multiyear contract to overhaul Vodafone Australia’s network. 

Ericsson and Cisco Systems decided to join forces to counter growing competition from Nokia, Huawei, and other vendors. That collaboration led to speculation that Nokia was seeking to acquire Juniper Networks (JNPR), a Cisco Systems competitor.

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