Ericsson has launched software and hardware solutions to expand 5G deployment options, which extend network capacity and coverage, enabling smooth network evolution and facilitating new consumer and industry use cases.
While already supporting frontrunner service providers through the rollout of commercial 5G using non-standalone (NSA) 5G New Radio (NR), Ericsson’s new software is standalone NR. In addition to extending deployment possibilities, 5G standalone NR software makes for a new network architecture, delivering key benefits such as ultra-low latency and even better coverage.
Ericsson is also evolving its cloud solution with an offering optimized for edge computing to meet user demand. This will enable service providers to offer new consumer and enterprise 5G services such as augmented reality and content distribution at low cost, low latency, and high accuracy.
The standalone 5G NR software can be installed on existing Ericsson Radio System hardware. Coupled with Ericsson’s 5G dual-mode Cloud Core solutions, the new products are aimed at opening new business opportunities for service providers – especially having established an architecture that facilitates agility, provides advanced support for network slicing and enables the speedy creation of new services.
Most operators will start with NSA and once the 5G coverage has been established, also deploy standalone.
Low bands will play a key role in cost-efficiently extending the coverage provided by 5G deployments to date. Ericsson has also launched Inter-band NR Carrier Aggregation – a new software feature that extends the coverage and capacity of NR on mid- and high bands when combined with NR on low bands. This will improve speeds indoors and in areas with poor coverage.
Two new Massive MIMO radios have also been added to the Ericsson Radio System mid-band portfolio, allowing service providers to build 5G with precision: AIR 1636 for wider coverage which provides optimized performance on longer inter-site distances; and AIR 1623 for easy site build with minimal total cost of ownership.
Telstra has launched its first 5G device, a 5G smart hub for business and the home. As Telstra’s 5G network partner, Ericsson has worked closely with Telstra to make 5G a reality in Australia.
So far, Telstra together with Ericsson has rolled-out 5G in 10 cities around Australia and over the next 12 months or so will increase to reach at least 35 Australian cities.
In addition to the 5G smart hub launch, Telstra will also launch commercial 5G mobility on May 28 – with commercially available 5G smartphones.
Telstra sees the roll out of 5G as a game-changing moment. It is eight years since Telstra launched 4G in Australia and more than seven since its first 4G smartphone.
Ericsson currently has 18 publicly announced 5G contracts. The Telstra partnership means Ericsson is now supporting six live 5G networks globally, Telstra’s being the first in the southern hemisphere.
Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom have consistently topped 100 Gbps in a microwave trial using a link over a little less than a mile. Conducted at the Deutsche Telekom Service Center in Athens, the joint innovation project achieves more than 10 times greater throughput speeds than current commercial solutions on similar 70/80 GHz millimeter wave spectrum.
Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom, said the trials will be a big change in solutions for future fronthauling capabilities.
“Advanced backhaul solutions will be needed to support high data throughput and enhanced customer experience in the 5G era,” Choi said. “This milestone confirms the feasibility of microwave over millimeter wave spectrum as an important extension of our portfolio of high-capacity, high-performance transport options for the 5G era. In addition, it Apart from confirming the potential of microwave technology over millimeter-wave spectrum (70/80 GHz and above) as a 5G-and-beyond fronthaul and backhaul solution, the trial showed the importance of applying spectral efficient techniques, such as MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) on wireless backhaul technologies to address upcoming 5G radio access demands.
Per Narvinger, head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, said, this trial proves that microwave can provide of capacities equal to fiber. “This means that microwave will be even more relevant for communications service providers in creating redundant networks as a back-up for fiber, or as a way of closing a fiber ring when fiber is not a viable solution. By carrying such high capacities, microwave further establishes itself as a key transport technology, capable of delivering the performance requirements of 5G,” he said.
Key technological advances included an 8×8 line-of-sight MIMO with cross polarization interference cancellation setup using commercial MINI-LINK 6352 radios and a 2.5 GHz channel bandwidth in the E-band (70/80 GHz) able to transmit eight independent data streams over the radio path. This corresponds to a breakthrough spectrum efficiency of 55.2 bps/Hz at peak.
During the mid-April trial, transmission rates measures were consistently above 100 Gbps, with telecom grade availability (higher than 99.995 percent), with peak rates reaching 140 Gbps.
In late 2018, Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom broke the 40Gbps barrier fully using commercial equipment including Ericsson’s MINI-LINK 6352 solution, which currently provides 10Gbps capacity over a 2000MHz channel. To raise throughput by more than 10 times, this trial used a 2500MHz channel and pre-commercial baseband and MIMO processing equipment in addition to MINI-LINK 6352 radios.
Ericsson will open up a technology incubator, known as D Fifteen in Santa Clara, California, later this year. The 5G-connected facility brings multiple core capabilities together under one roof and customers, partners and the Silicon Valley ecosystem community will be invited to collaborate around how their products and services will be affected by 5G technologies, including edge computing and distributed cloud, automation and intelligence, 5G radio, and global IoT connectivity.
“D-Fifteen will be a place for experimentation and collaboration, a showcase for the promising technologies that 5G will empower,” Margaret Herndon, head of marketing and communications, Ericsson North America, said. “This facility will bring together the brightest minds in Ericsson and, working with our partners, we’ll tap into the fast-moving, boundary-breaking spirit of Silicon Valley to bring about the next evolution in mobile networks. We want our partners to dare, design and deliver all in one world-class facility.”
Early D-Fifteen initiatives include:
D-15 IoT Studio: A hands-on testing ground, where Ericsson engineers will roll up their sleeves and put connected technology to the test.
D-15 Labs: A 5G testbed where service providers and partners will pressure test the multi-layered networks that are at the heart of the 5G experience and enable the promising technologies of the future like self-driving cars and the Industrial Internet of Things.
Global Private LTE Market will grow from $2.4 billion in 2018 to $4.5 billion by 2023, or a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 13 percent, according to market research released by MarketsandMarkets. The report, released Dec. 12, is titled, “Private LTE Market by Technology (FDD and TDD), Service, Application, Industry and Region – Global Forecast to 2023.”
Vendors in the private LTE market include Nokia, Ericsson, Verizon, Cisco, Samsung, Ruckus Wireless, NetNumber, Lemko, General Dynamics, Future Technologies, pdvWireless, Zinwave, Mavenir and Luminate Wireless, according to MarketsandMarkets.
Mobile Experts released an end-to-end study, CBRS 2018, in November, which provides a complete view of CBRS OnGo market development, including a five-year business model and technical analysis.
“The market for private LTE is very small right now. The equipment manufacturers are interested because it is a whole new class of customers and represent possible growth in a new market,” said Joe Madden, principal analyst, Mobile Experts.
Mobile Experts anticipates rapid growth over the next five years, with annual shipment of over 400,000 small cells for about $740 million in 2023, and more than 550 million handsets, CPEs and IoT devices.
“As the CBRS-enabled smartphones reach a meaningful penetration of the installed base (around 2021-2022), we may see enterprise and neutral host-led indoor deployments to further drive the market,” according to CBRS 2018.
Citizens Broadband Radio Service Will Ignite Private LTE
The FCC adopted a Report and Order “Promoting Investment in the 3550-3700 MHz Band” in October pushing the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) one step further to becoming reality. Some say that CBRS is a watershed moment for how private LTE systems will be deployed in the future.
The Citizens Broadband Radio Service at 3.5 GHz calls for three-tiered shared access between grandfathered incumbent access users, Priority Access Licenses (PALs), and General Authorized Access users.
“The rules bolster our confidence in the likely investment by the mobile and cable operators and lessens enthusiasm of the WISPs, enterprises, and other smaller players who looked forward to getting hands-on lower-cost“licensed” spectrum. Now that the rules are final and clear – i.e., license areas based on county and a 10-year term with renewability – the market is ready for a commercial rollout beyond trials,” according to the Mobile Experts.
While there has been plenty of growth potential and interest in private LTE, it has been held back by lack of spectrum, he said. That should change with the Citizens Broadband Radio Service.
“The beauty of CBRS is that these companies will be able to buy the spectrum at auction in early 2020,” Madden said. “It is perfect for companies, such as oil refineries, that want to own and control their networks.” An auction date for the PALs has not been set yet.
Private LTE Case Studies Already Appearing
This week, Nokia and Ukkoverkot, Finnish provider of 4G mobile data services, began providing a private LTE network to the Finnish Port of HaminaKotka. The port operator Steveco is using the network for improved situational awareness of container handling to warehouse logistics and port security. The dedicated low-latency network enables wirelessly connected cameras on cranes to provide real-time video streaming and analytics, as well as connectivity for trucks, sensors and workers.
American Tower and Ruckus Networks deployed the first commercial CBRS Private LTE network Nov. 9 at the newly-renovated ISM Raceway in Phoenix to expand connectivity in the infield, grandstands, camping grounds and Midway. The new system will complement the existing Wi-Fi system.
Ruckus Wireless was the first to secure FCC CBRS certification for their indoor and outdoor LTE Access Points. The ISM Raceway solution includes the Federated Wireless Spectrum Controller and the Ruckus Q710 and Q910 LTE APs. American Tower also installed the Ruckus T310 series and T610 series outdoor 802.11ac APs.
ExteNet Prepares CBRS-Ready Fixed Wireless Service
Another company that is moving forward on CBRS is ExteNet Systems, which initiated in September a field trial of a FCC Part 96-ready, CBRS LTE fixed wireless network with Inland Cellular, which serves southeastern Washington and north central Idaho. Commercial service rollout is currently targeted for early 2019.
ExteNet’s virtualized LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) solution, bundled with Nokia’s Radio Access Network equipment, has served as the foundation for Inland’s 4G LTE service throughout its coverage area since 2016. Inland is now leveraging its existing mobile infrastructure to conduct a field trial with ExteNet on the 3.5 GHz CBRS spectrum to improve customer experience and meet demand connectivity and increased network capacity.
In May, Ericsson Verizon, Qualcomm and Federated Wireless deployed a private LTE system on CBRS spectrum.