Ericsson said it started offering Standalone 5G NR software from June to mobile operators for 5G mid- and low bands to tap the potential of 5G New Radio (NR) technology.
Ericsson’s Standalone 5G NR software will assist global telecommunications service providers to run 5G NR network without the signaling support from an underlying LTE network. This will allow service providers to add 5G NR to existing 4G sites with a simpler architecture.
Mobile operators can also deploy 5G independently in new areas such as factories, to support enterprise applications and services.
Mobile operators, who have deployed Ericsson Radio System since 2015, will get support for Standalone 5G NR capabilities with a software installation.
Currently, mobile operators are deploying 5G networks in Non-standalone (NSA) mode with the support of necessary signalling from the underlying 4G network layer. Standalone 5G NR removes this 4G dependency.
With Standalone 5G NR, faster network connection times, simpler mobility management and immediate access to wide 5G bands provide an even better user experience.
Per Narvinger, head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “We are taking the next step in the evolution of 5G by making generally available the software to support Standalone 5G NR networks. These standalone capabilities will enable even more use cases and applications.”
A Standalone 5G NR device can connect six-times faster to a Standalone 5G network than a device operating in NSA mode.
T-Mobile and Telstra have trialled Ericsson Standalone 5G NR software on their commercial networks.
Abdul Saad, chief technology officer of T-Mobile, said: “Standalone 5G is the next important step for wireless connectivity, with the potential to unleash a new range of transformative applications.”
Telstra is the first mobile operator in Australia to enable Standalone 5G in the country.
“We appreciate the significance of this milestone and how 5G will be a key enabler to create new opportunities for an even better user experience and new business models,” Channa Seneviratne, Network and Infrastructure Engineering Executive, Telstra, said.
Ericsson has completed Standalone 5G interoperability with key ecosystem partners. The network maker said Standalone 5G devices – powered by Qualcomm Technologies and MediaTek — are expected to become available later in 2020.