Ericsson records progress in 5G deployment

BENGALURU: Ericsson introduces a 5G platform for the needs of the first movers in 5G. Communications are rapidly moving toward data-heavy applications like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality everywhere. In light of that, Ericsson has said that the company is now the first to market with solutions to enable today’s networks to evolve smoothly to the next generation of networks.

Ericsson’s new 5G platform comprises the 5G core, radio and transport portfolios, together with digital support systems, transformation services and security. Preparing for 5G opportunities represents a huge opportunity for operators.

Ericsson expects that in 2026, there will be a USD 582 billion market opportunity globally as telecom operators leverage 5G technology for industry digitalization. For operators, this represents potential to add 34 percent growth in revenues in 2026. In a forthcoming study, Ericsson finds that for operators the manufacturing and energy/utilities sectors represent the biggest opportunity for revenues created or enhanced by 5G.

“With this launch, we introduce our 5G platform to support the beginning of a huge change in network capabilities, allowing our customers to offer more advanced use cases and new business models to their customers. It is an important milestone enabling operators to continue their evolution journey to 5G,” says Arun Bansal, Head of Business Unit Network Products at Ericsson.

“We are pleased with the progress Ericsson is making in advancing 5G technology commercially,” says Roger Gurnani, Chief Technology Officer, Verizon. “Our customer trials with 5G technology in 11 cities across US is an important step in accelerating the path to next generation of wireless services.”

At the core

Ericsson now launches its first 5G Core System capable of 5G use cases based on network slices. Network slicing allows an operator to provide dedicated virtual networks with functionality specific to the service or customer over a common network. Already today, this enables some early 5G use cases for telecom operators to capture growth opportunities. Thus, Ericsson is now introducing additions into a number of areas of its 5G core system and applications:

  • Federated network slices for 5G roaming extends this concept to a visited network. This technology will make it possible for an operator to provide a network service globally, ensuring enterprises do not need individual agreements with different operators for a global service experience.
  • Network slice management to automate the setup of service connections and to secure service quality, to save costs and to gain fast time to service.
  • 5G policy and user data for network slices to ensure users get the right service quality and have data integrity.

Distributed cloud to facilitate short latency applications, such as real-time face recognition, by moving applications and workloads closer to the access. In addition, the 5G-enabled packet core will allow full separation of control and user data, as well as unprecedented capacity and user data rates.

  • 5G transformation services to ensure the migration of the network and operation from legacy to 5G core, virtualized and based on an automated operational model.

One proof point has been successfully demonstrated by Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson and SK Telecom. The three have jointly built and demonstrated the world’s first intercontinental 5G trial network where network slices were made available in the other operator’s footprint. New additions build on the foundation where the journey to 5G has already started, with virtualization, where hardware-based functions are put on cloud infrastructure platforms as data centers.  Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN), will be used for networking and programmability, bringing ultra-scalability, programmability and automation to the networks. And, Ericsson’s current portfolio of User Data Management, Evolved Packet Core and IP Multimedia Subsystem, is put in the cloud to support new use cases. Dimitris Mavrakis, Research Director, ABI Research, says: “Ericsson’s new product launch is a firm demonstration of its technical expertise in 5G and NFV, adding significant value on top of its existing core functionality. It indicates technology maturity for NFV and 5G core and federated network slicing is a radical forward-looking concept, opening up for new business models opportunities.”

Global 5G access and transport portfolio

In radio and transport, Ericsson adds mid-band and high-band 5G New Radio (NR) Radios to the world’s first 5G NR radio that the company launched last year. Having radios available for all frequency ranges will bring benefits of 5G communications globally. The 5G radio portfolio will be the first to support the new standardized 5G fronthaul interface (called eCPRI). The support of these new business opportunities and new applications will require delivering terabyte of data throughout the network.  To ensure the needed network transport capabilities, Ericsson also introduces optimized transport solutions. It delivers a MINI-LINK enabling speed of 10Gbps and new rail-mounted fronthaul and router products, enabling zero footprint. Ericsson will also be delivering new innovations on the road to 5G via the LTE networks, and 1 Gbps LTE solutions. New products complement the award-winning Ericsson Radio System and will increase the energy and spectrum efficiency of 4G networks and app coverage improvements. In addition, new radios will create fast 1Gbps LTE networks.

Daniel Staub, Head of Joint Mobile Group, Swisscom, says, “Ericsson’s new 5G portfolio opens up for new opportunities. As we are taking our first steps towards 5G, Ericsson’s new wideband four-transceiver radio will help us produce even more speed on 4G. With this, Swisscom remains the technology leader and offers better customer experience.” Ken Rehbehn, Principal Analyst, Mobile Infrastructure, 451 Research, said, “By gaining access to a broad set of NR radio units, high performance baseband processing capacity and a full set of transport options, operators get the ability to deploy substantial trial networks delivering key insight into 5G operational characteristics and opportunity. This is a vital step that builds operator trust and helps further overall industry progress towards 5G.”

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