An Ericsson representative told Mobile World Live production of 5G equipment at a recently-opened factory in the US was continuing, after the vendor received an exemption from restrictions designed to curb the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).
Opened earlier this month, the factory in Texas produces mmWave base stations designed for urban 5G deployments in the country. It was let off from an order issued by local authorities prohibiting gatherings of more than ten people and requiring many establishments to close because telecoms companies are classified as essential businesses, the representative explained.
New safety precautions have been implemented, the representative added, including allowing only key personnel to work and checks on their temperatures, with production running as normal.
In a blog posted last week before the shutdown order, Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm revealed “a few” of the company’s global employees tested positive for Covid-19, but said all production sites remained open and the virus’ impact on its supply chain had “been limited-to-none”.
Ericsson last week issued a statement addressing FAQs around its response to the virus: at the time it predicted its global customer base would experience “limited-to-no impact” during the current quarter, adding it also expected to be able to cover predicted demand in Q2.
AT&T, T-Mobile US and Verizon all previously announced plans to use Ericsson kit in their mmWave 5G rollouts.
Verizon recently detailed plans add US$500 million to capex this year to strengthen its network and speed its transition to 5G.-Mobile World Live