STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN — (Marketwire)

* Ericsson is providing the LTE-compatible core network and deploying RBS 6000 multi-standard radio base stations for 50 percent of O2’s radio access network in the UK

* The new network will meet users’ growing demands for connectivity and mobile broadband services

* Agreement strengthens Ericsson’s relationship as a principle telecom infrastructure supplier for O2

O2 – a Telefónica brand serving 23 million mobile subscribers in the UK – has selected Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) to provide an Evolved Packet Core (EPC) – the core network of the LTE system – for 100 percent of O2’s network. In addition, Ericsson will transform 50 percent of its nationwide network by supplying and deploying the latest RBS 6000 multi-standard radio base stations. The end result will be a nationwide multi-standard network that supports 2G/3G/4G, giving O2 the ability to manage with data traffic growth and expand its mobile coverage.

Ericsson will become O2’s sole supplier of EPC in the UK and deployment has commenced. This includes Evolved Packet Gateway on the SSR 8000 Smart Services Router family and SGSN-MME on the Ericsson Blade System.

Andrew Conway, Head of Mobile Access at O2, says: “This network transformation will put us in a great position for a seamless launch of 4G services this year. The outcome of the recent spectrum auction allows us to ensure the widest and deepest possible reach for new services and will see O2’s 4G network provide indoor coverage to 98% of the UK population.”

Anders Runevad, President of Region Western & Central Europe at Ericsson, says: “We’ve been a 3G provider for O2 since 2010 and we’re pleased that they’ve now also selected us to provide the latest technology for 2G services, as well as 4G capability.”

The growing popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices has dramatically increased usage of mobile broadband, placing higher demands on operators’ networks. Ericsson’s RBS 6000 family of radio base stations is a state-of-the-art solution that supports the cost-effective deployment of new, high-speed mobile broadband services while minimizing environmental impact.

Ericsson has now signed 130 LTE/EPC contracts in 51 countries on six continents. This agreement, which also includes customer support services, strengthens Ericsson’s position as primary telecom infrastructure supplier for O2 and as a 4G/LTE vendor in the UK.