Ericsson 5G investment could create 800 new jobs in the UK

Up to 800 jobs could be generated by 2022 as part of Swedish telecoms firm Ericsson’s involvement in rolling out 5G in the UK, the company has said.

Ericsson said it has agreements with the UK’s four major mobile networks – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone – to deploy 5G equipment and enhance network coverage, which the company says will create hundreds of new roles.

It includes 250 created directly by the telecoms firm, with as many as 550 more through the company’s partners in positions linked to engineering, project management and field operations.

A new 5G Centre of Excellence is also due to open at Ericsson’s offices in Coventry before the end of the year.

The increased investment comes as the UK’s reliance on 5G equipment from companies other than Huawei rises after the Chinese firm was banned from the country’s 5G networks earlier this year.

At the time, telecoms providers were told by the Government that they must stop installing Huawei’s 5G kit in the UK’s 5G networks from next September and any that Huawei-made 5G parts already installed should be ripped out by 2027, in a move to remove high-risk vendors over security fears.

On Ericsson’s announcement, 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.”

The telecoms firm said the investment in the rollout of 5G was vital for the UK, following the impact of Covid-19 and the greater demand for connectivity driven by lockdown restrictions.

John Griffin, chief executive of Ericsson UK and Ireland, said: “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, kickstart the UK economy and create a platform of unparalleled innovation.

“With agreements in place to support a rapid 5G rollout for all four major UK mobile network operators, we are boosting our local delivery capabilities to support the UK’s ambitious connectivity targets and help prepare for a digital future that is full of exciting 5G opportunities for consumers and new industries.”

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