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MTS and Ericsson prepare for 5G and IoT demo at 2018 World Cup

Steve Rogerson
October 26, 2017

Russian telecoms operator MTS has selected Ericsson to prepare its network for 5G and the IoT, and roll out 5G demo zones during the Fifa 2018 World Cup in Russia.
MTS will upgrade its network with the Swedish company’s radio system and core network products. The agreement includes 5G- and IoT-ready hardware and software for the next three years. Deployment will start this quarter and the total contract value exceeds €400m.
Ericsson will deliver its latest software that will be continuously developed during the next three years. The scope of the agreement also includes 5G-ready radio hardware, radio systems and core network with the Ericsson Mobile Softswitch as well as consolidation of user data for all network functions.
These will upgrade the mobile networks for 2G, 3G and 4G. In addition, MTS will prepare the network for 5G with Ericsson software for massive IoT deployment, including NB-IoT and Cat-M1 technologies. This enables a wide range of IoT use-cases including metering and sensor applications.
"In April 2017, in Moscow our companies demonstrated 5G technology with peak data rates up to 25 Gbit/s,” said Andrey Ushatsky, MTS chief technology officer. “Now we have reached an agreement with Ericsson, which will supply MTS new equipment enabling our network to deploy first solutions based on 5G technologies starting 2020. After upgrade, MTS network will provide higher data rates, increased capacity and low latency. These characteristics are critical for IoT and digital services that we are starting to implement today."
According to latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, many operators will deploy 5G commercially from 2020, in line with the time plan for 5G standardisation. In 2022, the number of 5G subscriptions is forecast to reach more than 500 million. The adoption rate of 5G mobile broadband is expected to be similar to that of LTE, and rollout will commence in major metropolitan areas, reaching around 15 per cent population coverage by 2022. The 5G service should enable a wide range of use cases for massive IoT and critical IoT.
"Early deployment of IoT and 5G technologies positions Russia as an early adopter of the most advanced ICT,” said Arun Bansal, head of Ericsson in Europe and Latin America. “Ericsson supports MTS in the company's goals to meet growing capacity needs and be ready for huge opportunities that will come with 5G and IoT. 5G will be a major technology in booming industrial digitalisation, creating and enhancing industry digitalisation use cases such as immersive gaming, autonomous driving, remote robotic surgery, and augmented-reality support in maintenance and repair situations."
This announcement follows a 5G memorandum of understanding signed by MTS and Ericsson in December 2015.