Ericsson and SmarTone have agreed to extend their 28-year relationship for another five years. The two companies have announced that Ericsson will be the sole 5G vendor for the Hong Kong telecommunications provider, and will help SmarTone deploy a commercial 5G network in the city. Ericsson and SmarTone had a similar relationship during the 4G era, with Ericsson providing the technology for SmarTone’s current 4G infrastructure.
“SmarTone has been preparing for the 5G era with Ericsson since January 2017, when we conducted the first 5G technology demo in this market,” said SmarTone Chief Technology Officer Stephen Chau. “We will continue to leverage our long-term partnership to build a world-class and robust 5G network in Hong Kong.”
The arrangement will make SmarTone the first Hong Kong operator to adopt the Ericsson Spectrum Sharing solution, which enables dynamic spectrum sharing between 4G and 5G operations. The platform was recognized with a pair of prizes at the 2020 GLOMO Awards.
“With Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, SmarTone will be able to more efficiently allocate its spectrum assets according to traffic demands, using its existing infrastructure,” explained Ericsson Asia Pacific Chief Technology Officer Magnus Ewerbring. “This ensures not only a smoother transition to 5G but also a faster one.”
The comprehensive arrangement also includes Ericsson’s Dual-Mode 5G Core and Ericsson Orchestration. The latter is a management system that will give SmarTone more insight into its new 5G network and streamline many of its business operations. The network will use AI to predict 5G traffic patterns and direct users to the best 5G cells, while Ericsson’s Security Reliability Model will deliver privacy by design across SmarTone’s entire 5G network.
The Hong Kong news speaks to the growing demand for commercial 5G services. Ericsson recently teamed up with Telenor to launch a 5G network in Norway, and previously partnered with Orange France to bring 5G to Paris and other regions in the country.