BT selects Ericsson to offer 5G private networks in UK

Telecom operator BT and Ericsson announced a new partnership to provide 5G private networks for the UK market.
BT broadband
The multi-year contract between BT and Ericsson will enable BT to sell mobile network technology products to businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, defense, education, retail, healthcare, transport and logistics.

Ericsson Private 5G private network solution provides guaranteed high-performing indoor and outdoor 5G cellular coverage, particularly in environments such as factories, education campuses and other large sites where security and ultra-low latency connectivity are important.

Innovative applications and IoT capabilities can be enabled through a private 5G network to improve productivity, optimize business operations and drive cost savings, such as asset tracking, predictive maintenance, connected sensors, real-time data processing, automation and robotics.

According to a forecast from, 5G private networks are predicted to grow at an average rate of 40 per cent a year between 2021 and 2028, by which time the market will be worth $14 billion (£10.7 billion). Both BT and Ericsson believe there is significant demand from UK businesses looking to take advantage of the benefits the new technology can provide.

“5G private networks will support smart factory processes and the advancement of Industry 4.0 which can realize significant cost savings and efficiencies for manufacturers,” said Marc Overton, Managing Director of BT’s Division X, part of its Enterprise business, in a news statement.

“The secure connectivity provided by Ericsson Private 5G can help organizations make all-important efficiency gains that can create safer, more productive, and sustainable business operations and help the country build global leaders in the industries and technologies,” Katherine Ainley, CEO Ericsson UK & Ireland said.

Case study – Belfast Harbour

BT and Ericsson have already worked together on several major projects incorporating private 5G networks, including Belfast Harbour in Northern Ireland, as they accelerate its ambition to become the world’s best regional smart port.

BT and Ericsson have installed a 5G private network across 35 acres of operational port. This is helping to drive operational efficiencies and accelerate its digital transformation through optimizing processes across transport, logistics, supply chain and shipping, as well as boosting productivity through the smooth-running of the Port’s operations.

The partnership is exploring how 5G and other emerging technologies such as AI, IoT and Connected Autonomous Vehicles can be used together to enhance public safety, physical security and address climate change across the Port and other parts of Belfast City.

“Throughout 2021 and to the end of 2022, we will have completed the implementation of both Public and Private 5G Networks. These are the foundation for several Smart and Green port initiatives, including; CCTV cameras, Air Quality Monitors, Drones, MiFi units to maximize operational efficiencies and a Digital Twin,” Mike Dawson, Corporate Services Director, Belfast Harbour Commissioners, said in a news statement.