In short: T-Mobile and Ericsson announced a multi-year $3.5 billion deal to build out T-Mobile's 5G network. As part of this deal, Ericsson would be providing T-Mobile with the latest 5G New Radio hardware, and software compliant with the 3GPP Standards. This is a pretty big deal for both companies, particularly for T-Mobile is it looking to get it's 5G network up and running pretty soon.
Background: T-Mobile has already announced that it will have a number of markets lit up with 5G connectivity in 2019. The company has also announced its plans to be among the first to have a nationwide 5G network. And by getting these 5G New Radios from Ericsson, it means that the carrier will be able to light up its network even sooner. Ericsson also noted that the deal with T-Mobile also includes its digital services solutions, including dynamic orchestration, business support systems and Ericsson Cloud Core. This is going to allow T-Mobile to launch innovative and groundbreaking 5G experiences to its customers pretty quickly, without needing to do a ton of tower upgrades.
The impact: 5G is going to be delivering faster speeds with lower latencies than what 4G LTE is able to provide. And by partnering up with Ericsson, T-Mobile is able to show its customers that it is serious about 5G and working hard to launch its 5G network. T-Mobile is also hoping to use this deal to help persuade regulators to approve the deal with Sprint. T-Mobile and Sprint announced its plan to merge back in April, which is a pretty risky decision, considering regulators have been dead set against allowing carriers to combine, as it doesn't want less carriers, in fact it wants more carriers and competition. But this deal should help T-Mobile get the deal approved, which would also help Ericsson.