June 20, 2017
North America will lead the world in the deployment of 5G with the largest share of subscriptions by 2025, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report. The OEM based its prediction on North America’s rapid migration to LTE from CDMA and WCDMA/HSPA-based networks.
“The [rapid deployment] trend is set to continue with 5G, as leading operators in the region have stated their intention to expand into pre-standardized 5G already in 2017,” Ericsson said. “As such, the region will have the highest share of 5G subscriptions in 2022 at 25 percent.”
5G Subs to Exceed 500 Million in 2022
The number of 5G subscriptions will exceed half a billion by the end of 2022, because of the large-scale trials and deployments of 5G scheduled in 2019, according to the June 2017 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report. Behind all of that movement is the decision to accelerate the 5G New Radio (NR) standardization process by 3GPP.
In March 2017, 3GPP approved acceleration of the 5G NR standardization schedule by introducing an intermediate milestone for an early variant called Non-Standalone 5G NR.1, which enabled early 5G deployments and supported the requirements for enhanced mobile broadband services.
The Ericsson report also forecasts 5 billion LTE subscriptions by the end of 2022. Additionally, 9 billion mobile subscriptions are expected, as well as 8.3 billion mobile broadband subscriptions and 6.2 billion unique mobile subscribers. Ninety percent of smartphone subscriptions will for 3G and 4G.
“GSM/EDGE-only still constitutes the largest category of mobile subscriptions. However, LTE is anticipated to become the dominant mobile access technology in 2018,” according to the report. “By this time, the number of LTE subscriptions will be more than seven times the GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions, while the corresponding number for WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions will be four times.”
March 26, 2017 —
SoftBank has been granted an experimental license to conduct tests on the 28 GHz frequency band, and will commence indoor and outdoor trials in Tokyo Waterfront City, using Ericsson’s 28 GHz 5G test bed, which supports advanced features of the next generation technology.
The coming trial will cover both device mobility and stationary tests and include base stations and device prototypes with control signal feedback using mid-band spectrum at 4.5 GHz. Advanced 5G technologies will include massive-MIMO, massive beamforming, distributed MIMO, multi-user MIMO and beam tracking.
The more advanced testing follows basic 5G trials completed in the fall of 2016 by Ericsson and SoftBank in the 15 GHz and 4.5 GHz bands.
The trials will evaluate RF propagation on the 4 GHz, 4.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands, using new air interfaces at speeds exceeding 10 Gbps with latency of less than 1 millisecond.
Tests will use a 100-megahertz channel in the 4 GHz band; a 200-megahertz channel in the 4.5 GHz band and a 732-megahertz channel in the 28 GHz band.
SoftBank said it aims to launch 5G commercial services around 2020.
February 9, 2017 — IBM Research and Ericsson have created a compact silicon-based millimeterWave (mmWave) phased array antenna module designed for 5G base stations.
The 28-GHz antenna is the result of a two-year collaboration, which brought together IBM’s knowledge of highly integrated phased array mmWave integrated circuits and antenna-in-package solutions and Ericsson’s expertise in circuit and system design for mobile communications.
The module, which consists of four monolithic integrated circuits and 64 dual-polarized antennas, measures approximately 2.8 inches by 2.8 inches.
Another feature of the antenna reported by the team is concurrent dual-polarization operation in transmit and receive modes. This capability enables one phased array antenna module to form two beams simultaneously, doubling the number of users to be served at the same time and so improving the overall value and economics of the technology.
A major hurdle for the use of mmWave signals in mobile communications is achieving sufficient range between radios to support target applications. At 28 GHz, each antenna is tiny and individually would support short communication distances, but combining multiple such tiny antennas not only increases the range but also enables steering of signals in specific directions. The IBM and Ericsson team’s phased array design supports beam-steering resolution of less than 1.4 degrees for high precision pointing of the beam towards users.
November 22, 2016 — Ericsson is launching a tower-top site design that enables operators to deploy a fully-integrated suite of radio and microwave, including 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G technologies, with zero footprint.
The integrated tower-top site design, developed by Ericsson’s Region Sub-Saharan Africa, addresses these challenges is a multi-band and multi-standard solution where baseband, radios, and antenna are combined using Ericsson’s latest radio system, and to which microwave backhaul can also be added. Finally, the system provides evolved RAN capability for capacity expansion and modernization.
Simply put, the system can be expanded without replacing the entire tower-top assembly.
“Using industry-standard elements, the site offers improved range, better sensitivity, increased capacity and expandability while weighing less and consuming less power. As a region, we are proud to have taken the lead in the development of this first of its kind design,” said Jean-Claude Geha, head of Region Sub-Saharan Africa at Ericsson
The tower-top site will be demonstrated at AfricaCom, Africa’s technology and ICT conference and is expected to be commercially available in Q3 2017.
October 18, 2016 — Telia, a mobile network in Sweden, and Ericsson have conducted outdoor tests of a trial system with the goal of rolling out a high-speed, low-latency system in Stockholm, Sweden, and Tallinn, Estonia, in 2018.
The trial in Kista, Sweden, used 800 megahertz of spectrum in the 15 GHz band. During the test peak rates of 15 gigabits per user, more than 40 times faster than 4G speeds, and a latency below 3 milliseconds were achieved.
While major deployment of 5G networks is not expected until 2020, development of pre-commercial products, testing and spectrum is ongoing. Telia Company and Ericsson’s partnership is conducting these trials to help drive the future global standards, according to Peter Laurin, head of region northern Europe & central Asia, Ericsson.
“Today marks an important step on our joint 5G roadmap for Sweden and Estonia. Our 5G roadmap will incrementally introduce IoT technologies and 5G concepts that will enhance end user experience and business potential for enterprises and society. Telia and Ericsson offer consumers and businesses to stay ahead with 5G-like services introductions. We are continuously creating new opportunities leveraging the promise of IoT and 5G and we’ll all experience it step by step,” Laurin said.