Ericsson to install 5G network in Kingdom of Bhutan

21 September 2021 | Saf Malik

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Ericsson has won a 5G contract with Bhutan Telecom as the landlocked Eastern Himalayan country prepares to launch 5G services at the end of the year.

It means that citizens, tourists, trekkers, and hikers across the country – including at Chele La pass, which offers famous views of the Himalayas and sacred Mount Jhomalari – will soon benefit from 5G connectivity.

Nunzio Mirtillo, head of Ericsson South East Asia, Oceania and India said: “We are delighted to partner with Bhutan Telecom on deploying 5G in Bhutan. 5G will undoubtedly serve as a socio-economic multiplier for the country. 5G with its better performance, ultra-high-speed and reliability will benefit consumers through use cases like enhanced mobile broadband and Fixed Wireless Access initially.

“Over time, we will see many new transformative use cases in critical IoT emerge, where the speed, latency and security of the 5G network will be key.”

Ericsson has also said it will work with Bhutan Telecom to deploy 5G connectivity in other parts of the country.

The companies have worked together since 2004 when Bhutan's first mobile network was deployed. Since then Ericsson has deployed 2G, 3G, and 4G networks in Bhutan.

The contract between Ericsson and Bhutan Telecom includes 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) deployment spanning Ericsson Radio System products and solutions, including Ericsson Spectrum Sharing. It also encompasses software upgrades in Ericsson Cloud Packet Core, Cloud Unified Data Management and Policy, Cloud IMS, and OSS/BSS to add support for 5G Non-Standalone (NSA), while paving the way to the future introduction of 5G Standalone (SA) support.

The Swedish telecom giant said that 5G deployment will contribute to the Bhutanese Government’s efforts to bridge the divide in the country and drive innovation opportunities for businesses, industries, verticals, and public sectors.

Karma Jurme, CEO of Bhutan Telecom added: “We appreciate the Government’s reliance on telecom infrastructure to boost the country’s digital infrastructure.

“The introduction of 5G will boost digital services in the country and enable Bhutan to become a digital society.”