Batelco and Ericsson have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on next-generation 5G technologies.
The MoU will cover collaboration on Voice over New Radio (NR) and advanced Charging System that will enhance Batelco’s real-time convergent charging as well as enable the introduction of new smart and innovative Internet of Things (IoT) products. It will also include cloud-native 5G Core and 5G Standalone (SA) solutions that helped Batelco and Ericsson successfully complete the first 5G SA data call in the Kingdom.
Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) will also be a key area of focus for Batelco and Ericsson as they enable extended coverage and longer battery lives for ultra-low complexity devices. Batelco’s and Ericsson’s exploration of NB-IoT will propel smart city visions with features such as smart metering, air quality monitoring, and building management seen having a significant impact on smart city development.
Mikkel Vinter, Chief Executive Officer of Batelco said: “In addition to the strong coverage that 5G from Ericsson provides, this MoU aims to explore ways to implement 5G technologies and reap the advanced benefits for different industries in Bahrain, through providing examples of innovative use cases. By providing technical support to major industries in the Kingdom, we look forward to contributing to the further prosperity of these industries.”
Through this collaboration, Batelco can strengthen its enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) capabilities and meet the rapid growth in data traffic that comes with automation and emerging Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) applications in the country. It will also aid Batelco in offering immersive media and cloud gaming experiences. The MoU is also set to lay the foundation for 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) introduction which offers great potential for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), gaming, and industry applications through its higher bandwidth, higher data rates and extended range capabilities.
Ericsson partnered with Batelco in deploying the commercial non-standalone 5G network across Bahrain in 2019 and has since worked together to enhance 5G services in the country. The collaboration will also work towards reducing network power consumption and develop solutions for smart and sustainable 5G networks.
The vendor’s CEO Borje Ekholm stated that it had registered “another solid quarter” despite profit falling % year-on-year to SEK2.9 billion ($307.2 million). Revenue was up 11% to SEK55.1 billion, with strong 5G momentum. Ekholm conceded that Ericsson would likely face “monetary and other measures” from the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over recent revelations around its activities in Iraq, but noted that “the magnitude of these at this time cannot be reliably estimated.”