Ericsson Unveils Innovative Software Toolkit to Enhance 5G Standalone Network Capabilities

Telecom equipment maker Ericsson has launched a software toolkit to bolster the capabilities of 5G Standalone networks. This development comes as the growth of diverse use cases and elevated user expectations regarding the quality of 5G experiences continue to place significant demands on network capacity and performance.
5G smartphone users at a live event
The latest Ericsson Mobility Report indicated that the number of 5G subscriptions reached nearly 1.3 billion in Q2 2023. About 260 communications service providers (CSPs) have launched commercial 5G services. About 35 CSPs have launched 5G standalone (SA) networks.

Ericsson’s toolkit empowers CSPs to deliver high-throughput, and low-latency use cases at agreed performance levels. These use cases encompass a range of applications, including lag-free mobile cloud gaming, video conferencing, live broadcasting, remote-controlled machines and vehicles, public safety services, and future extended reality (XR) applications.

The toolkit leverages the advantages of 5G technology, such as high speeds, consistent low latency, and increased bandwidth, which are crucial for providing immersive and responsive experiences in these demanding use cases. However, with the emergence of advanced applications, the one-size-fits-all approach to wireless connectivity is no longer sufficient, prompting the need for more specialized solutions.

Sibel Tombaz, Head of Product Line 5G RAN at Ericsson, said: “Our new innovative software toolkit empowers our customers to unlock advanced 5G applications through differentiated connectivity. This not only guarantees on-demand service excellence but also propels us toward our vision of networks as a platform.”

According to the latest Ericsson ConsumerLab report, 20 percent of smartphone users are actively seeking differentiated 5G connectivity. These users are willing to pay a premium of up to 11 percent for a 5G plan that ensures elevated network performance.

Ericsson’s software toolkit features enhanced capabilities in areas such as Massive MIMO, Advanced RAN Slicing, Time-Critical Communication, and 5G Core. It adopts a three-pronged approach to deliver a network platform that transforms performance into loyalty, value, and growth.

This approach includes ensuring superior performance for mobile broadband services, offering differentiated experiences for new and advanced consumer and enterprise use cases, and creating programmable network performance on-demand through network APIs.

Key capabilities of the software toolkit include:

Enhanced Massive MIMO Software: This includes algorithms for channel-aware Multi-User Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) pairing and optimal beamforming selection based on user velocity, resulting in up to a 10 percent incremental user throughput gain in high-load mid-band deployments.

RAN Slicing Advancements: It features intent-based automation for Automated Radio Resource Partitioning and Rate and Delay Control Scheduling to meet target delivery on a 1 millisecond (ms) basis.

Time-Critical Communication: This includes capabilities like Uplink Configured Grant and L4S (Low latency, Low loss, Scalable Throughput) for superior quality of experience even during network congestion and under poor radio conditions, offering up to a 90 ms latency improvement in high-load scenarios.

5G Core Enhancements: This enables data boost upsell and L4S support, allowing users to purchase a boost on top of their existing subscription and monetize L4S for selected subscription packages.

“We welcome the launch of 5G slicing and L4S in Ericsson’s RAN software offering as we prepare the next steps to bring the benefits to our customers,” Changsoon Choi, Vice President of Network Service Differentiation and Convergence at Deutsche Telekom, said.

“Ericsson is flexing its muscle to provide communications service providers with the tools they need to efficiently target – and drive – new premium services with differentiated 5G connectivity. The latest batch of RAN and Core software features is a much-needed shot in the arm that will empower CSPs to turn 5G opportunities into reality through guaranteed service levels,” Patrick Filkins, Research Manager at IDC, said.

Ericsson’s innovative software toolkit promises to revolutionize the 5G landscape, catering to the growing demand for differentiated and high-performance 5G services while paving the way for exciting new use cases.