Ericsson has secured an exclusive 5G Core and Radio Access Network (RAN) deal with the Faroe Islands’ leading and incumbent communications service provider (CSP) Faroese Telecom (Føroya Tele).
Faroese Telecom will use Ericsson technologies to fully modernize its existing network. The deal is a significant step towards unlocking the full potential of 5G services and use cases across the Faroe Islands – 18 remote rocky, volcanic islands between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic Ocean. The self-governing archipelago is a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, covering an area of about 1,400sq km with a population of about 53,400.
Jan Ziskasen, CEO, Faroese Telecom, says: “Faroese Telecom has high ambitions for the network. We are aiming at world-class coverage, speed and capacity. The Faroe Islands is one of the best connected countries in the world with 97.2 percent geographical coverage of 4G reaching even 100 kilometers out to sea. With Ericsson as our strategic partner, we will enable the next generation of innovation and more capacity in the network to achieve our goal of 100 percent geographic coverage – a demanding task given the geography and terrain of the Faroe Islands.”
With 18 islands connected by bridges, tunnels, subsea tunnels and ferries, Faroese Telecom is striving to provide mobile signal anytime, anywhere, including deep underground.
Ziskasen adds: “The newest subsea tunnel, Eysturoyartunnilin, is 11 kilometers long and 187 meters deep and even has a roundabout. After the modernization, this will be the first undersea tunnel where you can roam on 5G whilst driving through a roundabout under the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean.”
Niclas Backlund, Head of Denmark and North Atlantic, Ericsson says: “5G technology’s fast connectivity and low latency are crucial for driving industries forward in the Faroe Islands and enabling the large-scale introduction of IoT. The superior speed, high reliability and low latency of 5G make it possible to bring new applications to the market and provide coverage in challenging terrain.”
The modernized network has the potential to transform the Faroe Islands’ main industry – fishing.
In addition to serving vessels and fishing boats offshore through better coverage, lower latency and higher speeds, the 5G network can be combined with Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to enable new use cases and bolster sustainability efforts in the region.This will include safety improvement, autonomous navigation, route monitoring for fuel volume control and gas emissions.
The rollout of 5G and the full modernization of Faroese Telecom’s current 4G network will tap Ericsson’s 5G RAN and Core products and solutions, including the Ericsson Radio System portfolio that covers Massive MIMO and Ericsson Antenna System. Deployment will commence immediately and is expected to be completed in 2023. Previously Faroese Telecom and Ericsson jointly developed KIMA, a public safety solution across the Faroe Islands.