British mobile network operator (MNO) EE, a subsidiary of BT Group, is deploying Ericsson’s latest ultra-lightweight radio technology to deliver improved 5G energy efficiency and network performance, it has been announced.

Operating within EE’s 3.4GHz and upper 3.6GHz spectrum bands, the new radio technology will initially be deployed across 1,000 sites, with the development ‘not only offering substantial energy efficiencies but also improving capacity, coverage, speed and mobile experience for customers’. According to Ericsson, meanwhile, the reduced size and weight benefits of the equipment, initially developed in partnership with the MNO last year, mean that accelerated 5G upgrades will now be possible in areas previously constrained by building regulations or planning law. EE’s first deployments of the equipment are in London, while sites in Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, and Belfast will follow later this year.

Commenting, Greg McCall, Chief Networks Officer, BT Group, said: ‘We’ve already made significant progress in making EE a more efficient network, delivering vast quantities of additional data without equivalent energy increases. Our partnership with Ericsson is a further milestone in this journey, enabling us not only to accelerate our 5G rollout in city centres, but to do so in a more sustainable way. That’s good for us, but also incredibly important to our customers and the planet.’

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