TDC taps Ericsson to launch first 5G Standalone network in Denmark

Danish operator TDC NET has launched the country’s first 5G Standalone (SA) network.

The digital infrastructure provider claims to be the largest and most experienced provider of digital infrastructure in Denmark, and it’s aiming to create stable and future-proof connections to become the digital infrastructure of the future in the region. The company believes Danish consumers are making increasing demands on the speed and range of the country’s digital infrastructure, and it expects demand to continue to grow. TDC NET said its strategy is to maintain its existing digital infrastructure, while investing in new technologies that enable it to expand and improve connections. Its copper network reaches 2.8 million addresses and connects more than 1.5 million addresses with coax or fibre.

TDC NET also claims to offer Denmark’s best mobile network with national 5G coverage, and in September 2020, TDC NET went live with the first non-standalone (NSA) 5G network in Denmark, which worked alongside the existing 4G infrastructure provided by Ericsson.

The operator said the transition to high-performance 5G SA technology will enhance the regional 5G ecosystem, accelerate innovation across industries and unlock exciting possibilities for consumers. It sees a 5G Standalone network as offering lower latency, higher efficiency, better spectrum utilisation, more reliable connectivity and lower device battery consumption than other networks.

Moreover, the operator said 5G SA can unlock more use cases for consumers, critical internet of things (IoT), enterprises and industrial automation. 5G SA also facilitates network slicing benefits for multiple customer segments, offering an infrastructure for businesses to enable, for instance, smart manufacturing and IoT-driven innovation, while giving consumers better and more consistent service experience.

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The opening of the network, which the company regards as a milestone, is said to signify “a monumental leap forward” in connectivity, enabling transformative advancements and placing Denmark at the forefront of technological progress.

Technologically, the transition from NSA to 5G SA has been enabled through what the companies said are the unique properties of Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core service. With what they call a strategic move, the two companies insist they can ensure enhanced connectivity and unlock a multitude of advantages for Denmark. Going live with 5G SA is also said to signal major overall progress in TDC NET’s technological transformation as it adopts cloud-native software architecture, leading to fast and reliable service innovation for subscribers with service providers using TDC NET’s 5G network, while maintaining improved efficiency and network performance.

One of the key benefits of 5G SA will be improved speed capabilities. Over a 5G SA network, TDC NET and Ericsson have already achieved a 7Gbps downlink peak throughput in a live site environment that has been equipped with Ericsson Radio System products supporting millimetre wave and mid-band spectrum. Enabling New Radio Dual Connectivity (NR-DC) mode through Ericsson’s 5G Core and high modulation scheme has been key to this achievement.

The 5G Standalone deployment in TDC’s commercial network is expected to contribute to the service provider’s roadmap towards its net-zero emissions target by 2030.

“We were the first to introduce 5G in Denmark and now we are taking the next big step by switching on 5G Standalone,” said TDC NET chief technology officer Jakob Dirksen. “This will offer consumers, enterprises and industries enhanced efficiency, safety and a range of opportunities across everything from self-driving cars, remote work, healthcare, as well as mission-critical operations by authorities. In addition, 5G Standalone will also enable energy efficiency improvements thanks to more data being transmitted with the same amount of energy and faster access to content.”

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Niclas Backlund, country manager for Ericsson Denmark, added: “With the 5G Standalone network, we are now able to accelerate the Danish 5G ecosystem and provide a world-class mobile network with a range of new opportunities for consumers and businesses by enabling slicing, and thereby providing service differentiation.

“By modernising legacy networks and then upgrading to 5G, communication service providers can lower operating costs thanks to greater energy efficiency and thus reduce total cost of ownership. At the same time, they can future-proof their networks for anticipated higher capacity needs, and offer customers value through new services and capabilities.”

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