Ericsson has been awarded a five-year contract worth $14 billion to build AT&T's Open RAN network.

The partnership will see Ericsson deploy its Open Radio Access Network (RAN) products across the US to support the operator's rollout.

AT&T and Ericsson
– Ericsson

AT&T expects 70 percent of its mobile network traffic to flow across Open RAN platforms by late 2026.

The operator expects to have fully integrated Open RAN sites operating in coordination with Ericsson and Fujitsu, starting in 2024.

By the start of 2025, AT&T said it will expand its Open RAN rollout with multiple suppliers including Corning Incorporated, Dell Technologies, Ericsson, Fujitsu, and Intel.

“With this collaboration, we will open up radio access networks, drive innovation, spur competition, and connect more Americans with 5G and fiber," said Chris Sambar, EVP, AT&T Network.

"We are pleased that Ericsson shares our support for Open RAN and the possibilities this creates for American digital infrastructure.”

Telcos are expected to invest more than $30 billion in Open RAN by the end of the decade, according to analyst firm Counterpoint Research.

Open RAN promotes a new breed of telecoms kit that allows providers to ‘mix and match’ solutions from multiple vendors, which is impossible with proprietary network equipment.

To support AT&T's deployment of Open RAN, Ericsson will use its 5G Smart Factory in Lewisville, Texas, to manufacture 5G equipment for this contract.