In a groundbreaking move, Ericsson and AT&T have joined forces in a monumental five-year, approximately USD 14 billion strategic agreement. This collaboration marks a pivotal moment in the industry, as the two giants embark on a journey to pioneer the evolution of programmable and intelligent networks.
The colossal deal stands as the largest in Ericsson’s financial history, solidifying the company’s commitment to transforming the telecommunications sector. Ericsson will leverage its 5G Open Radio Access Networks products and solutions to support AT&T’s ambitious nationwide Open RAN initiative in the United States.
Central to the agreement is the development of a cutting-edge 5G network platform for AT&T, leveraging cloud-native technologies based on O-RAN standardized interfaces. With scalability, cost efficiency, sustainability, and high performance at the forefront, the partners aim to evolve this platform into a cloud-native open network over time.
The production of the infrastructure for this transformative initiative will take place at Ericsson’s recently expanded 5G Smart Factory in Lewisville, Texas. Notably, the products manufactured at this facility will proudly bear the label “Made in USA,” in adherence to the Build America, Buy America infrastructure laws Act.
Ericsson’s commitment to research and development shines through in this strategic collaboration, with a focus on sustainability-centered technology offerings. The company envisions future networks characterized by increased resilience, openness, sustainability, and intelligence.
The implementation of intelligent and programmable capabilities is poised to unlock innovation, including the development of rApps, automation, and network APIs. This will realize the full potential of 5G, creating novel monetization opportunities and driving the digital transformation process.
Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, expresses enthusiasm for the strategic shift, stating, “High-performance and differentiated networks will be the foundation for the next step in digitalization.” He emphasizes the significance of the move towards open, cloud-based, and programmable networks, foreseeing new business models that optimize and monetize the network.
Chris Sambar, Executive Vice President of AT&T Network, emphasizes AT&T’s pioneering role in open platform sourcing, envisioning the collaboration with Ericsson as a means to open up radio access networks, drive innovation, spur competition, and connect more Americans with 5G and fiber. Sambar applauds Ericsson for sharing the vision for Open RAN and its potential to revolutionize American digital infrastructure.
As Ericsson and AT&T embark on this transformative journey, the industry anticipates a wave of innovation and progress that will not only reshape the future of networks but also open up unprecedented opportunities for developers and businesses alike.