Ericsson has announced that it will increase its investments in research and development and product introduction of 5G network equipment in the United States. The telecommunications equipment supplier claims that these investments should allow the company to better support the accelerated build-out of 5G networks across the country. Starting late last year, Ericsson has started opening research and development facilities in the United States that focus on the tech firm's 5G products. The company established its Austin ASIC Design Center, which concentrates on the development of core components of 5G base stations, in late 2017. In addition, Ericsson will open a new software development center within the next few months that will focus on the company's 5G baseband. Baseband serves as the interface between the core network and the cell sites, and it also processes and forwards voice calls and internet data to the carrier's subscribers. Furthermore, the tech firm also stated that it is increasing its investment in the research of artificial intelligence and automation technologies.
Meanwhile, Ericsson also claimed that its new investments in product introduction and manufacturing should allow the company to quickly deliver its 5G products to its customers in the United States. Starting in the fourth quarter of 2018, the tech firm will start manufacturing its 5G radio equipment in the US with the help of an independent production partner. Moreover, the company stated that it will hire new personnel that will comprise its product introduction team. This team will work closely with Ericsson's research and development staff in preparing and testing early prototypes.
This latest string of investments are a part of the company's recent efforts to move its operations closer to its customers, and investing in the United States is particularly important given that the country has been the tech firm's largest market for the past seven years. Two national carriers in the US recently teamed up with Ericsson for the deployment of 5G networks. Ericsson will supply 5G NR radio access products and baseband to T-Mobile, and the tech firm has agreed to provide Verizon with 5G Radio Access Network and a 5G Core Network. On the other hand, Ericsson has recently supplied Sprint with antennas that support Massive MIMO. Sprint noted that these antennas could serve as a backbone for its future 5G deployment.