Bell Canada today entered into a 5G supplier agreement with Ericsson, a Swedish telecommunication equipment manufacturer.
The Ericsson equipment will be used in Bell’s Radio Access Network (RAN), the portion of the network that connects users to the network, as well as Bell’s 5G-enhanced wireless home internet to rural areas.
The deal would see both Nokia and Ericsson equipment in Bell’s 5G network as Bell continues to implement a multi-vendor strategy.
On Feb. 20, Bell announced that Nokia would be its “first” 5G network supplier for its access networks. Bell has yet to confirm a supplier for its core network.
Bell has had a strong relationship with the Finnish supplier Nokia. Nokia equipment is prevalent in Bell’s 4G network, including the core, the portion of the network that links together the access network.
Canada has no shortage of foreign network equipment suppliers. In addition to Nokia and Ericsson, Korean telecom giant Samsung entered into Canada as Videotron’s 4G LTE-A and 5G supplier in December 2019. Moreover, the Canadian government is still deciding on whether Huawei should be a part of its 5G network.
Bell said it’s ready to deliver initial 5G service in urban centres as businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ericsson currently holds 93 commercial 5G agreements with various telecommunication providers, including Rogers’ 5G network that rolled out in January.