Vodafone UK selects Ericsson for London 4G network improvements, signs 5G MoU
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:
In addition to massive MIMO and carrier aggregation, the two companies will also work to increase the density of Vodafone UK's network, using additional macro base stations and small cells

Ericsson has been selected, after a competitive tender process, by Vodafone UK to improve its 4G networks in London and southern England using technologies such as massive MIMO and carrier aggregation, which will help deliver improved capacity and end-user performance

Massive MIMO technology uses advanced antenna arrays to improve the quality of radio signals and capacity, while carrier aggregation combines different cellular frequencies to increase capacity and user data rates.

A Vodafone spokesperson told Land Mobile that work has started immediately with the addition of significant amounts of two- way carrier aggregation in the North of London as well as continued deployment of both two-way and three-way aggregation in the South. In addition, the massive MIMO deployments will start in the coming weeks and will be in areas where increased capacity and coverage are required to serve the future needs of large populations. They added that all this work will be completed prior to any 5G deployments.

The scope of the agreement includes technology trials, product validation and commercial deployment, as well as professional services. The Vodafone spokesperson said that the agreement also covers the addition of new macro base stations which are being deployed to both add coverage and capacity, together with the deployment of small cells.

The two companies have also signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on:

  • 4G evolution, 5G radio non-standalone and standalone;
  • 5G site deployment scenarios;
  • 5G new radio simulations: 3.5 GHz and mmWave;
  • 5G use-cases: business case study and proof of concept;
  • distributed cloud and network slicing proof of concept: end-to-end latency and cloud- optimized network applications;
  • collaboration with King’s College London; and
  • 5G innovation: Technology Incubation Programme.
  • Prior to the agreement, Ericsson was already a supplier of 4G equipment to Vodafone in the UK and one of the company’s key suppliers.

    “We are continually enhancing our network to optimise performance and give our customers the best possible experience,” commented Jorge Fernandes, technology director, Vodafone UK. “We will continue to expand our 4G network and develop greater capabilities for our customers. We look forward to continuing to work with Ericsson to achieve our goals.”

    “We are working with Vodafone UK to evolve its 4G network and test new 5G technologies, said Arun Bansal, Head of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson. “Together we will enable ubiquitous connectivity for their users that enable entirely new experiences, as well as monitoring and control of IoT in real time.”

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