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Ericsson and Cisco ink deal for networks of the future

Borg and Swedish wireless giant make big IoT and 5G play

Cisco and Ericsson have formalised a decade-long, strategic partnership to allow the two firms to work together on cloud, 5G, IP and the Internet of Things tech.

The outfits claimed today that the courtship could help each firm ring up $1bn in sales by 2018.

Financial terms of the multiple agreements signed by the two parties were not disclosed, but the partnership is a close one. For example, Cisco and Ericsson plan to discuss FRAND policies and enter a licensing pact for their respective patent war chests.

Ericsson said in a canned statement that it will pay licence fees to Cisco.

The Swedish giant added that the deal – which will presumably help the company compete with rivals such as Nokia Oyj's network division – included combining brains with the Borg on routing, data centre services, networking and mobility.

Employees from Cisco and Ericsson will additionally team up on SDN/NFV and network management and control.

"Initially the partnership will focus on service providers, then on opportunities for the enterprise segment and accelerating the scale and adoption of IoT services across industries," said Ericsson boss Hans Vestberg.

"For Ericsson, this partnership also fortifies the IP strategy we have developed over the past several years, and it is a key move forward in our own transformation," he added.

Vodafone chief Vittorio Colao was among the big name customers to be wheeled out to back slap the partnership. He reckoned the deal would "accelerate the pace of innovation across the communications industry". ®

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