Taiwan-based Far EasTone chose Ericsson to supply a standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) dual-mode 5G core and VoLTE equipment, as the operator gears up to launch SA services.
In a statement, Ericsson said its equipment will support new NSA capabilities and the move to SA using low-, mid- and high-band frequencies. The deal covers its Radio System products, including antenna-integrated radios for mid-band and mmWave, and network design, planning and optimisation services.
Ericsson said the systems “will maximise Far EasTone’s spectrum assets by expanding its mid-band base station and modernising existing low-band sites”. It asserted the VoLTE system will enable the operator “to improve voice user experience in current 4G networks” and provide “the foundation” for 5G calling.
In March 2020, Far EasTone announced it would deploy Ericsson’s AI-powered RAN and spectrum sharing system ahead of its commercial 5G launch in early July 2020.
The operator plans to boost 2021 capex 32 per cent to TWD14.4 billion (US$518 million), with more than half earmarked for 5G network construction as it targets doubling its existing 7,600 sites by the year-end and 90 per cent population coverage.
In 2020 rival Chunghwa Telecom named Ericsson and Nokia as 5G RAN vendors, while Taiwan Mobile selected Nokia as sole supplier of its 5G RAN and core equipment for its NSA network.