Ericsson has extended its partnership with Virgin Media O2 after striking a multi-million-pound contract this week.

The agreement will see Ericsson support Virgin Media O2 with its 4G and 5G rollout to more parts of the UK.

Sheffield, UK
– Getty Images

As part of the agreement, the operator will deploy Ericsson's latest products and solutions from its radio system portfolio.

This will see Ericsson provide additional service upgrades and small-cell solutions as part of the network modernization of the combined Virgin Media O2's network, meaning that some of the UK's biggest cities including Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Belfast will receive the upgrades.

Ericsson confirmed its 5G Massive MIMO radio AIR 3258 products will be deployed across the network, with this enhancing 5G speeds and energy efficiency across the network.

The agreement also means that Virgin Media O2 could become one of the first Communications Service Providers (CSPs) in Europe to trial Ericsson’s Cloud RAN solution.

"Building on our long-standing relationship with Ericsson allows us to deliver improvements quickly and efficiently, helping us move rapidly towards the future-proof networks our customers expect," said Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2.

Last year, rival UK operator EE began the deployment of Ericsson's AIR 3268 Massive MIMO equipment as part of its own 5G network modernization.

Ericsson recently settled a $206 million with the US Department of Justice in relation to violating a 2019 deal with US prosecutors that required the telecoms firm to properly disclose information on its activities in Iraq, China, and Djibouti.

The company also announced plans to slash its workforce by 8,500 globally as part of cost-cutting measures, late last month.

Get a weekly roundup of EMEA news, direct to your inbox.