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Ericsson Inks 5G, IoT Agreement With Russian Carrier Beeline

Under the deal, the two partners will deploy massive MIMO technology in Beeline’s network.

Russian mobile carrier VimpelCom, which operates under the Beeline brand controlled by the Veon group, has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Ericsson.

Under the terms of the two-year agreement, both companies have committed to develop 5G and internet of things technologies.

The strategic partnership will focus on improving the flexibility and efficiency of spectrum utilization and implementing new approaches to network architecture involving projects for core network evolution to a 5G core. Ericsson and Beeline will also deploy massive multiple-input multiple-output on the telco’s networks and develop 5G demonstration clusters.

The two partners plan to focus on a number of specific projects to prepare Beeline’s networks for 5G, which includes scaling of LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro technologies.

In the IoT arena, the two companies will explore the possibility of creating an IoT Accelerator Lab for developers of IoT technologies and products, and testing solutions based on narrowband IoT and LTE-M in urban conditions. In addition, Beeline and Ericsson have launched an open zone for IoT testing in central Novosibirsk.

“5G standard is the future that has yet to come, and it is not clear enough yet how it will influence everyday life of our customers. Nevertheless, for our company, as a major market player, it is important to prepare Beeline network for advance technologies that require a new architecture that is fundamentally different from previous generations,” said Vasyl Latsanych, VimpelCom CEO. “We are upgrading our network together with our partners and developing new services to provide our customers access to the best and modern Beeline network.”

“By 2021, we will be trialling key 5G technologies, deploying IoT technological clusters and developing new approaches to network architecture to enable 5G services on VimpelCom’s network,” said Sebastian Tolstoy, head of Ericsson in Russia.

Beeline previously presented an open trial zone for developers of IoT solutions based on NB-IoT network in the Smart residential community in Moscow. Today, two pilot solutions for collecting data from individual and housing energy and water consumption meters are showcased in the Beeline Smart residential community.

In May, Beeline and Chinese vendor Huawei signed a two-year strategic partnership agreement to carry out pilots of “4.5G,” 5G and IoT technology solutions.

Under the deal, the partners will test Huawei’s massive MIMO solution on a commercial network, enabling gigabit LTE data rates, while also piloting LTE-Licensed Assisted Access technology. Carrier aggregation will be tested between TDD and FDD LTE standards, and dynamic spectrum re-use will be piloted ahead of a planned commercial launch of LTE services in the existing 2G/3G 900MHz and 2100MHz bands.

The agreement also stipulated the testing of cloud Radio Access Network solutions for increasing base stations’ frequency usage efficiency and improving user experience in locations with a high concentration of traffic.

Beeline and Huawei will be carrying out pilot tests of NB-IoT technology this year and next. – RCR Wireless

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