Ericsson is rapidly emerging as the 5G infrastructure provider of choice in countries eschewing Huawei, with Alaska becoming the latest region to select the Scandinavian communications giant for its 5G rollout.

GCI, the largest telecommunications provider in Alaska, the US, has chosen Ericsson to build the state’s 5G network, which is set to launch in 2020.

This will see Ericsson provide both hardware and software for 82 macro cell sites across the Anchorage region.

“Ericsson and GCI have partnered over the past decade to connect customers in some of the most remote communities in Alaska. We are pleased to continue working with GCI to bring 5G service to Alaska’s biggest city,” said Börje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson.

“The introduction of 5G will create a powerful platform for innovation. Using 5G, new use cases benefitting society, consumers and enterprises, will be created.

“Consumers will benefit from a premium experience with faster speeds and better coverage, while new wireless functionality will accelerate applications for the oil and gas, mining and healthcare industry across Alaska.”

Ericsson 5G triumphs over Huawei

The announcement is the latest sign that Ericsson is rapidly becoming the option of choice for countries either reluctant or unable to select Huawei, which otherwise is favoured for its high quality technology and low price point.

Huawei is increasingly being avoided due to concerns that its 5G infrastructure could be used to assist espionage activities by the Chinese government, an accusation the company denies.

Some nations, notably those in the Five Eyes intelligence sharing community, have opted not to use the technology over fears it will harm relations with the US, which has banned Huawei technology.

While this has undoubtedly proved damaging to Huawei, it has been beneficial to Ericsson, which has gathered many contracts that the Chinese company would otherwise have been a key contender for.

Ericsson now has nine live 5G networks in operation around the world and 22 publicly announced 5G networks in development. Six of these are in the US, with Ericsson also picking up multiple contracts across the Scandinavia, Western Europe and East Asia.


Read more: Ericsson updates 5G predictions after “rapid early momentum and enthusiasm”