By Ed Biller
Japanese telco KDDI announced this week that it has selected Nokia and Ericsson as "primary vendors" for its 5G network. ZDNet reports that KDDI will use Nokia’s AirScale solution for both 4G and 5G applications, while Ericsson will supply the telco’s radio access network equipment.
KDDI has worked with Nokia for more than 20 years and has partnered with Ericsson since 2013.
Ericsson also announced last week that, along with Nordic communications service provider Telenor, it has connected two Norwegian locations via 5G for the first time as part of the country’s largest 5G pilot network. The pilot network operates on the 3.6 GHz frequency band.
Per the Ericsson press release: “The two companies have deployed a 5G pilot network in Elverum, about 140 km from the capital Oslo. The pilot network opening on September 26 was also marked by Norway’s first live 5G video call between Telenor CEO, Sigve Brekke, and Telenor Norway CTO, Ingeborg Øfthus.”
The Nordic countries have taken a unique approach to 5G rollout, notes SDxCentral: in 2018 Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden signed a letter of intent stipulating a “unified approach to 5G deployment in each country to allow for an interconnected 5G network throughout the region.”
Related, Forbes reports that Norway “has no plans to block China’s Huawei from supplying parts of the country’s upcoming 5G infrastructure.” State-owned telecom giant Telenor currently is selecting suppliers for its 5G network and will be subject to no supplier restrictions.
Forbes notes that Telenor already begun testing 5G in parts of Norway, supplied both by Ericsson and Huawei.
Elsewhere around the globe, SDxCentral identifies South Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United states as power players in 5G rollout.
In South Korea, KT and Hyundai Engineering & Construction have teamed to build 5G networks at Hyundai construction sites and to develop construction automation technology, as well as use 5G to improve productivity and monitoring at those sites, reports Yonhap News Agency.
Solution trials at two of the sites are expected to begin in earnest before the end of 2019.
Meanwhile China’s OPPO and Keysight Technologies have partnered to establish a 5G test lab in Shenzhen, China.
According to a report by RCR Wireless, the facility will deploy Keysight’s 5G network emulation solutions “to facilitate end-to-end processes from development to deployment, [and] will enable OPPO to comprehensively test their 5G multi-mode devices in different form factors.”
All of this development should help device manufacturers come 2020, when Goldman Sachs has predicted a 5G smartphone boom will occur, per this report by Yahoo! Finance. Apple, Samsung, and Huawei currently are set to be the early beneficiaries, the article posits.
By 2024, data and analytics company GlobalData predicts the global number of 5G subscriptions will hit 1.5 billion. About 254 million of those users are expected to be in North America, while the Asia-Pacific region will dominate 5G adoption with 954 million subscriptions by 2024.