back to article While Huawei burns, Ericsson lands plush new O2 contract to help push 5G in Britain

Swedish infrastructure giant Ericsson today confirmed a new deal with O2 UK for its RAN equipment, which will be used to upgrade existing 3G/4G sites across the West of England and Wales. O2 – the sole UK carrier to eschew Huawei's 5G gear – launched its 5G network in October 2019 with service to six cities: London, Edinburgh …

  1. J. R. Hartley

    Marconi

    Back in the UK at last.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've yet to meet anyone who cares about 5G

    It seems the only people interested are the tech media and tin foil haters.

    So its 10x faster than 4G. Yawn. Wake me up when some fundamentally new cell technology comes along.

    1. JetSetJim

      Re: I've yet to meet anyone who cares about 5G

      I would care about it if I lived in a broadband not-spot - would be lovely to stick a small antenna on the chimney and get gigabit throughput (at peak, obvs, but 100mbps would be good anyway). One of the use-cases is rural broadband supply, where rolling out FTTP is a PITA, and existing copper is still in the 2-16mbps range. Stick in a single site with sufficient beam steering on the antenna and you get a decent internet pipe to every home within a mile or so.

      Considering the general crapness of a lot of Openreach copper, and the limited availability of DOCSIS around the country, there's a large market for it.

      With regards to "funademental new cell tech" - just what does that mean to you? A 10x improvement to throughput and greatly reduced latency is not enough of a "fundamental" improvement? There's also beam forming and massive-MIMO - effectively a step towards everyone having their own personal cell that the site actively steers towards you as you move about. Add in the network architecture changes that allow for a whole host of other benefits - even though the device may not ever see them, the operator will no doubt benefit from them.

      A lot of work has gone into the different "G"s - have a read of the specs if you doubt that. The spec for the mobile to signal connectivity requests to the access network runs over a thousand pages, and that is merely one of the many protocols that makes the network work.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've yet to meet anyone who cares about 5G

        Thats all well and good - but I don't remember endless stories on ethernet moving from 10 -> 100 or 100 -> 1Gbps. So its faster, so fecking what.

        "whole host of other benefits"

        LIke the very short range and if using millimetre waves it won't go through walls or rain? Yeah, killer functionality there.

        1. JetSetJim

          Re: I've yet to meet anyone who cares about 5G

          5G isn't just in the higher frequencies. It works in 700MHz, too - perhaps not as high a data rate, but it still works. Also, with beam steering, range can readily be on a par with 4G as the signal is much more focussed to the end user (and either way, note that I did say to stick the antenna on a chimney for your domestic broadband replacement product).

          WRT ethernet - that's link level, not application layer. If you have a DSL backhaul from your router, it doesn't matter a hoot whether you're on 10/100/1000 ethernet, you're choked. You could argue that this is the same thing, and 5G can also be similarly choked, but most internet hosts have a decent connection and there are a lot more services that can saturate a home DSL service nowadays.

          Or you can make a comparison using cars - most production cars are 0-60 in the 6-10second range. Teslas are around 4 seconds. It's faster, so fecking what. There are a few technical improvements over ICE in the Teslas, apparently.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I've yet to meet anyone who cares about 5G

            "WRT ethernet - that's link level, not application layer."

            I hate to break the news to you , but 5G is link layer too.

            "Teslas are around 4 seconds. It's faster, so fecking what. "

            Exactly - hardly anyone cares. Its selling point is its electric, not its speed. 5G doesn't have a selling point OTHER than its speed.

            1. JetSetJim

              Re: I've yet to meet anyone who cares about 5G

              I hate to break the news to you, but 5G has lots of layers, from link level up, that all inter operate to make 5G.

              Equally, ludicrous mode on the Tesla's is a definite selling point

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I've yet to meet anyone who cares about 5G

            Actually, given the same frequency and channel width as a 4G-LTE network, a 5G-NR network should be a bit faster as it has some better encoding techniques.

            But what makes 5G-NR really interesting is that it can utilize multiple carriers and that carriers for the uplink and downlink no longer need reside on the same band. This really comes in handy when you have a TDD band available where most of the time slots are allocated to downlink.

            So your handset could use 703 – 718 MHz (band 28 FDD) to tower A as its uplink. But it could use 3300 – 3400 MHz to tower A, 3400 – 3500 MHz to tower B, and 3500 – 3600 MHz to tower C (band 77 TDD) as its downlink, with each tower allocating 90% of time slots to downlink. That's a massive gain in bandwidth.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it allowed to point out that both Nokia and Ericsson belong to a political bloc that's currently engaged in a not-too-friendly negotiation with the UK?

    As I'm living on the Continent, I do hope my leaders will use those magical 5G spying abilities to learn what BoJo got for breakfast, even before the pictures get to his Instagram!

    1. JetSetJim

      "not-too-friendly"? The EU have been most open about their position from the start, whereas the UK side have been absolute drooling imbeciles

  4. batfink Silver badge

    Stoltenberg tells us to panic. Again.

    At least it's nice to hear Stoltenberg giving his normal "The Russians are coming!" a rest. Now it's "The Chinese are coming!" instead, which at least has the virtue of being a slightly different tune.

    I'm all for the NATO alliance, but every time I see Stoltenberg stand up it always sounds like job justification to me.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Costs

    Can anyone care to inform readers how much more have O2 paid to Ericsson for this 5G infra, as compared to Huawei? And also whether it is technically any superior to Huawei?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Costs

      For what it’s worth, Ericsson stocks dropped on the news of “The Purge” of Huawei. Probably Ericsson are now lagging a few years behind Huawei and they can’t execute. Without using Huawei hardware.

      It will be a shambles.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Costs

        Thats another excuse for all UK mobile Telcos to hold back further investments ! A good escape clause for them to not bother. As it were, the rollout of 5G in UK is a joke, yet they brag as if we are in 5G paradise already.

        Need thousands of Micro Cells and towers to provide true 5G penetration and after buying all the spectrum they are baulking at the investments necessary to deploy. eg. Three network is sitting on more than 100 Mhz of contigious spectrum for more than 4 years, with hardly any subscriber numbers to show. Ditto other operators. Only if they had they acted earlier after spectrum auctions......... before the Trump shenanigans started (our overlords) , we could be leading the way.

        Its the Goverment, guv. Honest.

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