NEWSBYTE Fujitsu is teaming up with Ericsson to develop and manufacture base stations for 5G wireless communications.
Tokyo-based Fujitsu is to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Swedish telecoms provider, with Fujitsu contributing its miniaturisation and energy-saving technology, and Ericsson bringing a larger share of the base station market – nearly 30 percent, against Fujitsu’s one percent or less.
Ericsson has form in Japan. From 2001 to 2012, it partnered with Sony on mobile phones, and now supplies 4G communication equipment to carriers such as SoftBank and KDDI.
The deal comes hot on the heels of another 5G technology tie-up this week, between rival electronics giant Samsung (South Korea), and Japanese IT products and services company, NEC.
That partnership will initially target the Japanese 5G sector, but with a joint base station market share that is six times smaller than Ericsson’s (with or without Fujitsu). It will also be facing off against Nokia, and against China’s Huawei, which leads the space.
Spending on 5G base stations is estimated to reach roughly 5 trillion yen ($44.4 billion) in Japan alone, according to figures from Nikkei.
Earlier this week, Samsung announced that it is partnering with Qualcomm on 5G small-cell development to “open the door for massive 5G network speed, capacity, coverage, and ultra-low latency”.
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2018 has seen Ericsson ink a number of 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) deals. For example, in September, it signed a $3.5 billion multi-year contract with US carrier, T-Mobile.
That deal sees Ericsson supporting T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G rollout and supplying 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and software. It also expands the carrier’s existing LTE capacity needs, while “future-proofing the network”, it said last month.
Alongside the hardware in that deal, Ericsson is providing digital services, including dynamic orchestration and business support systems (BSS), along with its Cloud Core product.
Also in September, Ericsson teamed with wireless services company Sprint on a new IoT initiative.
That partnership aims to bring to market a distributed, virtualised IoT network and operating system designed to turn sensor data into intelligence at the network edge.
In July, Ericsson, Telstra, and Intel claimed to have made the first end-to-end 5G data call over a commercial network. The call was made at Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast of Australia.