Ericsson leads in 5G innovation beating Nokia and Huawei

Ericsson 5G NR radio
Ericsson today announced several innovative 5G software and products for global telecom operators to launch 5G networks cost effectively this year.

The latest announcements from Ericsson on 5G innovation indicates that the telecom tech company is well ahead of Huawei, Nokia and ZTE in the 5G space.

The new 5G Platform from Ericsson announced today – ahead of Mobile World Congress 2018 — has more features for the radio and core network.

The Sweden-based telecom equipment maker has also unveiled new radio products called Street Macro that addresses operators’ strategies to grow in cities with limited available radio locations.

Finland-based Nokia and Shenzhen, China-based Huawei are behind Ericsson in terms of the latest 5G products announced. Huawei is yet to announce a 5G equipment deal with any mobile operator. Nokia bagged just one 5G equipment deal from NTT Docomo.

Investment in 5G network is expected to assist telecom operators to address data traffic. The latest Ericsson Mobility Report said global mobile data traffic is expected to grow 8x, while 5G subscriptions are forecast to reach 1 billion by the end of 2023.

Ericsson said its 5G Core System and Distributed Cloud offerings have new capabilities to support 5G NR standard.

The 5G radio network software complements Ericsson’s baseband and 5G radios. Operators can now activate their 5G networks with simple steps.

The company said operators who want to be early with 5G have the essential pieces for launching 5G networks already this year. Verizon, AT&T, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, T-Mobile, SoftBank, among others, are gearing up for 2018 launch of 5G services focusing primarily on fixed mobile networks.

Recently, Ericsson announced changes to top management focusing more on 5G innovation and business development.

Ericsson’s 5G Platform announced in February 2017 with additions in September has the 5G core, radio, and transport portfolios together with OSS/BSS, network services and security.

“With our expanded platform, they will get more efficient networks as well as opportunities to create new revenues from emerging consumer and industrial use cases,” Fredrik Jejdling, head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson, said.

Ericsson and Italy-based mobile operator TIM — in last December – activated a 5G NR cell in the mmW frequencies in the city of Torino, reaching speeds above 20Gbps.

“We are looking forward to testing Ericsson’s new solutions that will contribute to address the wide variety of use cases we are working on,” Giovanni Ferigo, CTO of TIM, said.

Ericsson’s 5G radio network software, available in the fourth quarter of 2018, provides multi-band support for global deployment. It will allow operators to use new frequency spectrum as it becomes available.

Ericsson’s new economic study of enhanced mobile broadband, said evolution to 5G will enable 10x lower cost per gigabyte than current 4G.

Ericsson’s Packet Core and Unified Data Management solutions will deliver enhancements throughout 2018 to support 5G services. Engineers can upgrade these solutions with new functionalities as the 3GPP 5G standard evolves.

Ericsson said its Distributed Cloud offering for cloud application deployment across multiple sites – central, distributed, and edge — will enable networks as open cloud platforms for all workloads, including telecom, consumer, and enterprise applications.

Ericsson said Street Macro radios will be on building facades with a smaller footprint but the necessary strength to secure network efficiency and coverage. The company also unveiled new radio products supporting Massive MIMO technology – enabling evolution from 4G to 5G.

Existing radios to support 5G

All installed base radios from the Ericsson Radio System delivered since 2015 will be 5G NR-capable by a remote software installation – ensuring cost effectiveness to all telecom operators who want to join the 5G brand-wagon.

“The combination of Ericsson’s new products and 5G support for radios already deployed in the field will give operators access to a very broad and flexible 5G portfolio,” Ed Gubbins, senior analyst, Global Telecom Technology & Software, at GlobalData, said.

Ericsson said its installed base of radio products from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio will be able to run 5G New Radio (NR). Engineers can achieve the 5G capability through a remote software installation.

More than 150 radio variants in Ericsson Radio System that are active in more than 190 networksfrom 2015 can support 5G NR — ensuring significant cost reduction for rolling out 5G.

This 5G NR readiness also applies to Ericsson’s micro radios in Ericsson Radio System and existing Radio Dot System products. In short, all Ericsson Radio System products are ready for 5G NR.

Daniel Staub, head of Joint Mobile Group, Swisscom, said: “We can launch 5G services more efficiently with our future-proofed Ericsson Radio System products – significantly boosting the long-term value of our network assets.”

Operators will have the possibility to run 4G and 5G in the same band with the same radio and the same baseband. It will also be possible to share the spectrum between 4G and 5G with side-by-side carriers in the same band, and even with overlapping carriers using so-called ‘Dynamic Spectrum Sharing’ functionality.

The latest 5G deals and other announcements indicate that Ericsson started focusing more on innovation towards building a better future.

Baburajan K