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Ericsson hopes to create 800 UK jobs as part of 5G rollout

Image credit: deutsche telekom

Ericsson has said its plans to upgrade the UK’s mobile networks to 5G could create up to 800 jobs by 2022.

While Chinese firm Huawei was formerly the largest provider of the next-generation networks, this mantle was passed to Ericsson in October following the UK government’s decision to ban Huawei from playing any role in the nation’s 5G networks.

Ericsson now has agreements in place to deploy 5G and enhance network coverage for all four major UK mobile network operators, which it says should generate around 800 direct and indirect employment opportunities.

The jobs will mainly be found in engineering, project management and field operations as the firm endeavours to upgrade over a third of the total number of mobile network sites in the UK.

The recruitment will include around 250 roles hired directly by Ericsson, with the remaining jobs to be delivered through Ericsson’s field and resource partners.

It also hopes that a new 5G Centre of Excellence, which will open at Ericsson’s offices in Coventry by the end of 2020, will help boost the UK’s 5G deployment capacity and aid in developing future designs.

While telecoms providers have already installed Huawei’s 5G kit in much of its infrastructure, the government U-turn means they are now forced to rip out any equipment made by the firm by 2027.

Digital infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: “I welcome this investment in the UK by Ericsson which will create hundreds of skilled jobs across the country and accelerate the nationwide rollout of 5G.

“We’re working hard to build a world-class 5G network, including introducing landmark legislation to boost telecoms security and a new strategy to diversify the supply chain. We will continue to support Ericsson and other providers however we can to deliver an infrastructure revolution for Britain.”

Minister for investment, Lord Gerry Grimstone said: “As our economy recovers from the impact of Covid-19, inward investment in cutting-edge technologies across the UK will help us to build back better nationwide, levelling up the UK.”

John Griffin, CEO of Ericsson UK and Ireland says: “Investment in 5G technology is fundamental to the future of the UK and as a global leader in 5G, we are putting in place all of our technology and expertise to deliver a cutting-edge telecommunications infrastructure that will support the growth of new jobs, kick start the UK economy and create a platform of unparalleled innovation.

In October, a report found that the UK economy could suffer to the tune of billions due to the delayed 5G rollout following the Huawei ban.

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