Ericsson and Millicom are partnering to close the digital divide in Latin America, with a project that will extend network coverage to an additional 2.5 million people in Bolivia, Paraguay and Honduras, while paving the way for 5G rollout across the continent.
Partnering with Ericsson will enable Millicom to achieve this by modernizing its networks with LTE and 5G-ready technology for greater speed and enhanced user experience.
According to a 2020 study by the IICA, IDB, and Microsoft, 32 percent of the Latin American and Caribbean population - 244 million people - still don't have access to the internet. In a new partnership with Ericsson, communications service provider Millicom, who operates as TIGO in Latin America, will see its network in three key Latin American markets modernized, extending coverage to an additional 2.5 million people and connecting an additional 712 municipalities, in a joint mission to eliminate the digital divide in the region.
This new partnership of the two companies will see an investment of USD 135 million on network upgrades in Bolivia, Paraguay and Honduras, which will also pave the way for 5G deployment across the continent.
As part of the three-year project, Ericsson will upgrade TIGO's current networks with the latest Ericsson Radio System products and solutions and replace the existing 4G packet core with Ericsson's dual-mode 5G Core, delivering significant improvements to network performance, and introducing LTE and 5G-ready technology for greater speed, stability and user experience.
Xavier Rocoplan, EVP, Chief Technology and Information Officer at Millicom, says: 'Millicom has a strategy to achieve and maintain network leadership in all the markets in which it operates. We want to offer the best mobile experience in the market and connect more people in both urban and rural areas. With this project, we further our purpose to build the best digital highways where we operate, to connect people, improve lives, and help develop our communities.'
The deal represents a strategic achievement for Ericsson, considering that the rollout will provide a solid foundation for new 5G consumer and enterprise opportunities in the three key countries.
Arun Bansal, President of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson, says: 'Ericsson is leading in 5G. With our drive for innovation, we are incredibly pleased to unite with Millicom and bring the crucial connectivity to Latin America while paving the way towards 5G. Working alongside such a prominent telecommunication provider, we double-down on our commitment to closing the digital divide globally. While the pandemic has changed much more than simply how we communicate, connectivity remains as crucial as ever.'