BT and Ericsson partner to offer private 5G networks in the UK

A close up photo of the BT tower lit up at night

BT and Ericsson have reached a multi-million-pound agreement to offer commercial 5G private networks ‌in the UK.

The multi-year contract will affiliate BT’s expertise in building converged fixed and mobile networks with Ericsson’s 5G network and enterprise solutions. Target industries include manufacturing, defence, education, retail, healthcare, transport, and logistics.

This comes hot on the heels of BT’s recent announcement stating the firm was investing almost £100 million over the next three years in its ‘Division X’ unit ‌to‌ ‌develop advanced customer solutions that integrate 5G, IoT, edge computing, cloud, and‌ ‌AI.

BT and Ericsson have a long-standing partnership and previously partnered on incorporating private 5G networks at Belfast Harbour, a major maritime hub in Northern Ireland.

“This UK-first we have signed with Ericsson is a huge milestone and will play a major role in enabling businesses’ transformation, ushering in a new era of hyper-connected spaces,” said Marc Overton, BT’s managing director for Division X.

“We have combined our skill and expertise at building converged fixed and mobile networks with Ericsson’s leading, sustainable and secure 5G network equipment, to offer a pioneering new proposition that will be attractive to many industries. 5G private networks will also support smart factory processes and the advancement of Industry 4.0 which can realise significant cost savings and efficiencies for manufacturers.”

“Unlike a public network, a private 5G network can be configured to a specific business’s needs, as well as by individual site or location. They also provide the foundation to overlay other innovative technologies such as IoT, AI, VR and AR, opening up a multitude of possibilities,” added Overton.