Fujitsu has entered a strategic partnership with Ericsson aimed at delivering joint end-to-end 5G solutions, initially for the Japanese market. The two companies plan to combine their radio access and core network portfolios to deliver 5G mobile network services and solutions across Japan before expanding to other markets worldwide. The companies will also collaborate on R&D activities related to 5G. This agreement comes shortly after NEC and Samsung announced their own 5G partnership aimed at developing end-to-end 5G system solutions.
Fujitsu has been collaborating on open standards activities driven by major operators and aims to achieve interoperability for its radio access products. According to Fujitsu EVP of network business Tango Matsumoto, this partnership will support that aim.
“Through this partnership with Ericsson, we will provide flexible 5G network systems that are open and standard compliant, and will leverage our expertise in wireless technologies and network integration to a wide range of customers in and outside of Japan,” he said. “From (enhanced) mobile broadband, expected to be the first widespread use case of 5G, to the IoT and beyond, this partnership holds out the promise of exciting new business opportunities,” he added.
Ericsson EVP of networks Fredrik Jejdling added that the partnership will support the company’s efforts to carve out a share of the Japanese 5G market.
“Our global expertise in 5G combined with our understanding of the local market puts us in an excellent position to support the introduction of 5G in Japan,” he said. “By working closely with operators and partners, we are creating solutions that will bring successful use cases and applications to the market. With Fujitsu we get an excellent partner to accelerate this development.”
Fujitsu’s previous work on 5G saw it last year kick off a field trial of its 5G ultra high-density distributed antenna technology and tests of simultaneous high-speed transmission of high-res video using the antenna system, in partnership with Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo.
Ericsson has the second-biggest share of global base-station sales — approaching 30%, according to IHS Markit. Ericsson’s equipment is already being used in parts of the U.S. that are rolling out 5G service.
Fujitsu, which does most of its business in Japan, holds less than a 1% global base station market share. Fujitsu and Fujitsu Laboratories, which have been working on 5G trials with NTT DoCoMo since 2014, have also collaborated with NTT DoCoMo on evaluating communications speed for distributed antennas deployed at multiple outdoor locations.