Verizon Wins a First European 5G Contract

By Avi Ben Ezra Thursday, April 1, 2021

Verizon building in New York City.

Verizon has agreed to build and run a private network for the United Kingdom’s (UK) biggest port company, the Associated British Port (ABP), in Southampton. This business deal marks the first European industrial 5G partnership for Verizon after the company beat other Europe-based telecom companies.

Excellent Track Record in Setting Up 5G Networks

The US-based company will build the network which will run on Nokia Oyj’s equipment, while the financial terms of the business deal remained undisclosed. Last year, Verizon opened a showroom in London and discussed its plans to win 5G deals beyond the United States (US).

Under the terms of this business deal, Verizon will develop the network in Southampton, which is an essential UK terminal that accommodates around 900,000 cars and millions of cruise ship passengers annually.

This underscores the increasing competition in the 5G market, which is now considered a key way to stimulate business growth in the dull telecommunications sector for local carriers such as Vodafone. It is expected that the ABP company will have its new system operational by July, with more than 21 ports expected to get 5G networks in the future.

“We chose Verizon simply just due to the track record within setting up private 5G networks. Regional or local, I don’t see it like this. I see 5G as a global thing,” said Henrik Pedersen, CEO at ABP.

The south coast city of Southampton is improving its network as the port adjusts to its new freeport status and one of a few low-tariff business zones in Britain that UK chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced in March as part of his efforts to stimulate post-Brexit trade.

The 5G network will address dead spots in the region and upgrade bandwidth at the port, which could help it accommodate new systems, including drones that can provide HD video for maintenance checks and send live-shipping data.

“There’ll be a lot of need for data transfer in the future in the freeport zone, and especially when you start to move goods in and out of the customs zones,” added Pedersen.

The country’s second 5G auction featured reserve prices for the available frequencies at more than £1 billion ($1.38 billion). All of the major carriers, including EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone, participated in the auction and bid for spectrum in the 700 MHz and 3.6 GHz-3.8 GHz bands.

The auction wrapped up quickly and a total of £1.356 billion ($1.87 billion) was raised, according to the UK government-approved regulatory and competition authority Ofcom.

The UK’s largest carriers also rolled out their 5G technologies in the country’s main cities last month, as well as a few small and medium-sized cities. According to speed tests conducted last September by both data analytics companies Point Topic and Thinkbroadband, each of the operator’s 5G networks were almost four times faster compared to 4G. Still, the tests fell short of Ofcom’s expectations due to limited spectrum availability.

Summary

The US carrier company Verizon has struck its first industrial 5G business deal in Europe to build and run a private network in Southampton for the UK’s leading port company ABP.

About the Author


Headshot of Avi Ben Ezra

Avi Ben Ezra is the CTO and Co-founder of SnatchBot and SnatchApp (Snatch Group Limited). He leads the Group’s long-term technology vision and is responsible for running all facets of the tech business which includes being the architect of the platforms and UI interfaces.

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