Communications service providers can now deploy mid-band 5G networks faster and on a wider scale without adding to their site footprint, thanks to two new Ericsson antenna-integrated radio (AIR) solutions.
Hybrid AIR and Interleaved AIR are the latest additions to the Ericsson Radio System portfolio, enhancing the company’s 5G platform.
Ericsson has recognized that physical space restrictions at some base station sites are a challenge for communications service providers wishing to extend their footprint to include 5G. The new AIR solutions directly address this issue to enable communications service providers to manage the growing complexity of macro sites and towers while reducing site footprint and optimization costs.
No extra physical space is needed at existing sites. When deployed with Massive MIMO, communications service providers can deploy mid-band 5G with the new solutions faster and on a larger scale.
Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “It’s a footprint issue. At some network sites, size literally is everything. Communications service providers globally often have limited possibilities to increase the space occupied by network equipment. They need solutions that fit in existing sites and still provide great performance.
“With the Hybrid AIR and Interleaved AIR solutions, we can help our customers to quickly deliver the benefits of 5G Massive MIMO to more end users. This launch also shows the effectiveness of fully integrated Kathrein Mobile Communication products in our Ericsson Radio System.”
How it works?
With Kathrein Mobile Communication antenna technology, Hybrid AIR and Interleaved AIR can introduce 5G mid-band to existing sites by combining antenna-integrated radios and multiband passive antenna technology in one enclosure.
A simulated calculation by Ericsson experts showed that the upgrade to Hybrid AIR or Interleaved AIR with Massive MIMO can result in up to seven times greater mobile broadband capacity than currently available from existing multiband antennas. The capacity gains come from improved Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) spectral efficiencies, new FDD bands and added Massive MIMO mid-bands. The new AIR solutions also boost 4G capacity.
Partnering with Swisscom and Vodafone
Swisscom and the Vodafone Group are two longstanding Ericsson partners who have worked with the company on the solutions.
Daniel Staub, Head of Mobile at Swisscom, says: “At Swisscom, we have rolled out 5G technology nationwide as the first provider in Europe. We reached 90 per cent population coverage at the end of 2019 already. Close collaboration with Ericsson and deploying the Hybrid AIR helped us to reach that goal. We are now delivering wide mid-band capacity, while reusing established sites and minimizing additional footprint. We continue to work and innovate to bring the best end-user experience to our 5G subscribers.”
Francisco Martin, Head of Radio Products, Vodafone Group, adds: “Ericsson and Vodafone have jointly designed the Interleaved AIR antenna platform, a key enabler for mid band 5G roll-outs as it supports legacy bands plus the new 5G active antennas. This compact product saves space and simplifies the infrastructure needed at mobile sites, reducing total cost of ownership.”