Juniper, Ericsson sign 5G product pact

Pour an aquavit, pour a gin, take a deeeep breath ...

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Juniper and Ericsson are extending a long-standing love-in to cover 5G network tech.

In the joint product bag, Ericsson will handle everything from the air interface to base station backhaul, and Juniper will haul packets around the core network.

Ericsson's contribution will be access networking (the Router 6000 platform providing Common Public Radio Interface, CPRI, and Ethernet CPRI transport), and its MINI-LINK microwave systems. It will also provide management and orchestration across its own and Juniper's products.

Juniper's contribution to the portfolio includes its MX and PTX Series routers, and the SRX Series firewall and gateway.

The companies highlighted 5G's demand for low latency, high capacity, high numbers of connected devices, and security as reasons for tighter integration between 5G radio, core, and transport networking. Ericsson gives Juniper exposure to the market for mobile carrier builds. And there's also the matter of financials: both companies see 5G builds as a way out of a market that's been sluggish of late.

After two years devoted to turning its financials around, Ericsson in July managed its first profit since 2016.

Getting there demanded a pretty brutal programme of layoffs (20,000 total, 14,000 of whom were internal employees) and more than $1bn in cost cutting.

Juniper has similarly gone through several lean years, but CEO Rami Rahim in July identified 5G's underlying “distributed telco cloud” as a growth driver for the future. ®


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