Deutsche Telekom is to deploy a "5G-ready" network as part of a infrastructure modernisation deal signed with Ericsson.
The Swedish vendor will modernise the German operator's 2G, 3G and LTE network with a multi-standard solution in one of its "market areas", although it did not specify how big a region this amounted to.
The five year deal will involve Ericsson rolling out a multi-standard radio access network, which is based on its Baseband 6630 product and will involve solutions for macro and small cells.
The vendor will also deploy its Network Manager for OSS and offer hardware and software support and services.
Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Market Area Europe and Latin America, says: “We listened to Deutsche Telekom and understood their urgency to have 5G-ready infrastructure in order to stay at the forefront of customer service in Germany.
"We can run multiple standards on the same baseband hardware and a 5G upgrade will be able to be performed by a simple software download to the radio sites.
"And, during these deliveries, we will use the experience from our 5G activities around the world to be sure that Deutsche Telekom has the most advanced hardware and software in the industry.”
Deutsche Telekom has already been working with Ericsson on its 5G testbed in Berlin. Speaking in October, Group CTO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn said he viewed the testbed as a means of cementing a common approach to the operator's 5G strategy.
He said: "It's not the number of people we have in our company that's important; it's important we have the right brains and discuss what kinds of partners we need to get things up and running."
Jacobfeuerborn later told delegates at the Huawei Mobile Global Broadband Forum in November that technology teams needed to make the case for investment in 5G, as well as draw better attention to its potential use cases.
Last week saw Ericsson win another major 5G contract from US operator Verizon, with the first commercial launches slated for the second half of 2018. The deal will see Ericsson supplying both the core and RAN components of the 5G network.