Ericsson has opened a 5G testing lab and training center at the company’s head office in Moscow’s Metropolis Business Center. The facility offers a demo studio for experimenting with 5G and IoT applications and use cases.
Ericsson said the facility will enable Russian operators to trial 5G and IoT technologies and standards that have been adapted to Russian standards. Service providers will be able to test 5G use cases and consumer devices on a live network, as well as solutions such as fixed wireless access, spectrum sharing, Private LTE networks and remote control of autonomous vehicles. The lab will also offer certifications of 5G technologies and software for the Russian market.
Ericsson expects the training facility, dubbed Ericsson Academy, will train more than 1,000 specialists from Russian service providers each year on mobile 5G equipment.
Commercial 5G services are expected to launch in Russia in 2020 as part of the country’s Digital Economy National Program. A recent study from GSMA predicted 5G networks will cover 80% of the country’s population by 2025.
Operators MOTIV, MTS, Vimpelcom and Rostelcom are now trialing the technology, all of which have signed agreements with Ericsson. Ericsson signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with MOTIV in April to deploy LTE-LAA, 4x4 MIMO and massive MIMO, and spectrum-sharing solutions on MOTIV’s network. At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson signed a 5G “roadmap agreement” with MTS. The agreement outlines the rollout of 5G networks for the operator in the 2019-2022 timeframe. In September 2018, Ericsson signed a two-year strategic partnership agreement to develop 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies with Vimplecom, and in May 2018, it launched a trial 5G network with Rostelecom in St. Petersburg.
Ericsson’s top competitor, Nokia, has signed 5G agreements with MTS and Rostelecom.