Ericsson 5G data call using dynamic spectrum sharing with Qualcomm 5G Modem-RF System

Ericsson said in a press release that it made the world’s first 5G data call using dynamic spectrum sharing.   Ericsson Spectrum Sharing allows an existing LTE carrier to operate 5G New Radio (NR) and LTE simultaneously – with a simple software upgrade. The solution is based on innovative intelligent scheduler algorithms that enable optimal performance as the mix of 4G and 5G devices in the network changes over time.

The 5G data call was made between a 5G mobile test device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System and a commercial LTE smartphone.  The LTE smartphone and the 5G testing device data call sections were running simultaneously on the same FDD low band spectrum, the referenced commercial hardware and Ericsson Radio System software.   The call took place in August at Ericsson’s lab in Ottawa, Canada using an Ericsson macro radio that supported both 4G and 5G.

Ericsson said that this technology is poised to change how new generation radio access technologies are introduced in operator networks using one of the most limited resources in mobile, which is spectrum.  With dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS), operators can introduce 5G immediately in the same band as 4G. The technology dynamically allocates spectrum resources between 4G and 5G based on user demand.

Ericsson says its DSS is based on proprietary scheduler algorithms that enable optimal performance as the mix of 4G and 5G devices in the network changes over time.

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing software dynamically shares spectrum between 4G and 5G carriers based on traffic demand. For every millisecond, the split of simultaneous 4G and 5G capacity is adjusted to secure an optimal performance for any mix of 4G and 5G active devices in the network. This minimizes spectrum wastage and results in the best end-user performance.


Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, says, “With Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, service providers can reuse their Ericsson Radio System investments on bands currently used for LTE to support the introduction of 5G. With the TCO advantages offered by Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, we are convinced that it will be a catalyst to drive the rapid build-out of wide area 5G coverage. This first call marks an important milestone in evolving the 5G networks to cater for the extreme demands ahead.”

“This achievement is the result of our longstanding collaboration with Ericsson and is a critical step toward enabling operators worldwide to utilize DSS for a seamless global transition to nationwide 5G,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “With DSS support included in our comprehensive Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System architecture, we’re looking forward to helping fast-track the mobile industry to nationwide coverage during the second phase of 5G commercialization next year.”


As 5G commercial rollouts move ahead, spectrum sharing represents an attractive option for service providers looking to rapidly roll out 5G on FDD bands without the need to re-farm spectrum. This milestone achieved by Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies shows real progress towards rapid 5G commercialization, with dynamic spectrum sharing playing a key role.

Traditionally, new generation radio access technologies are deployed on separate spectrum blocks – as was the case with 2G, 3G and 4G. This would require operators to buy new spectrum or re-farm the existing spectrum to allocate the new generation. This is a very slow and costly process. Spectrum re-farming could take a decade but with spectrum sharing, this can be done overnight. Dynamic spectrum sharing revolutionizes the introduction of new technologies with a breakthrough innovation that allows the deployment of both 4G and 5G in the same band and dynamically allocates spectrum resources between 4G and 5G based on user demand.

Ericsson says it provides an opportunity for service providers to extend the coverage of new 5G NR mid and high bands by applying Inter-band NR Carrier Aggregation between low-mid and low-high frequency bands. Here, Ericsson Spectrum Sharing is key to allowing an easy introduction of NR on low bands. In combination with NR Carrier Aggregation, spectrum sharing can typically double the coverage area of new 5G mid and high band cells, delivering hundreds of megabits per second indoors and at cell edge.

According to an Ericsson study* 73 percent of the service providers that were the first to move on with 4G have gained market share in their respective markets. The combination of l fast time-to commercialization with low investments requirements has made spectrum sharing an essential part of an operator’s 5G strategy.

*Ericsson study on 15 largest markets in the world that have 4G (Data from Ovum WCS database).

–> Read more about sharing spectrum for faster and smoother deployments of 5G


Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg has repeatedly said that the carrier plans to use Ericsson’s DSS as an integral part of its 5G strategy. However, Ericsson’s DSS technology only works on its New Radio equipment deployed in the same spectrum currently being used for LTE.  And, Verizon has not divulged whether it is deploying Ericsson NR equipment in any of its LTE spectrum. When talking about 5G, Verizon mainly talks about its mmWave deployments in high frequency spectrum that has never been used for LTE.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere said on a recent earnings call, “To get to dynamic spectrum sharing, you’ll deploy New Radio. So, I am yet to hear anybody in Verizon declare that they are deploying New Radio in low-band or mid-band. And, if you want to use DSS, you are effectively committing in the same breath to rolling out 5G in mid- and low band. I haven’t heard that yet as a declared strategy for a Verizon.”





4 thoughts on “Ericsson 5G data call using dynamic spectrum sharing with Qualcomm 5G Modem-RF System

  1. Ericsson and KDDI to Deploy 5G Network

    has been selected by communications service provider KDDI as the primary 5G vendor for next-generation network deployment in Japan. KDDI expects the first commercial live 5G services to be available from March 2020, with more than 93 percent coverage of 5G base station areas specified by Japan’s telecom regulation body by the end of March 2025.

    Under the agreement, Ericsson will supply KDDI with Radio Access Network equipment, including products and solutions from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio. These will allow KDDI to maximize its spectrum assets and enable the service provider to roll out commercial 5G services in several parts of Japan on their sub-6GHz and 28GHz bands for 5G New Radio (NR). KDDI’s selection of Ericsson as a 5G vendor follows nearly four years of close collaboration on 5G between the companies.

    Chris Houghton, Senior Vice President, Head of Market Area North East Asia, Ericsson, says: “Having established our important partnership with KDDI in 2013, we have now expanded our collaboration efforts. We are excited about our involvement in KDDI’s 5G network buildout, which will provide a sound basis for our future collaboration as well as allowing our partner to offer users a whole new generation of mobile services.”

    Japan’s telecom regulation body, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, allocated spectrum to communication service providers KDDI, SoftBank, NTT DOCOMO, and Rakuten in April 2019 in preparation for the 2020 launch of 5G services. The government ministry expressed its hope that the telecom industry would build 5G infrastructure on a broad scale, extending well beyond major cities into rural areas. KDDI reportedly aims to achieve 93.2 percent coverage of the 5G specified base station areas in Japan by the end of March 2025.

    KDDI and Ericsson have carried out a large number of joint tests across a wide range of 5G use cases on the 4.5GHz and 28GHz frequency bands, including the interworking between 5G and LTE.

    The two companies have been collaborating on 5G since November 25, 2015, when they announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to advance the evolution of the latest mobile technology.

  2. Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei may suffer badly with Indian telcos set to curtail capex
    They added that with balance sheets of the two telcos likely to be further weakened, existing tenancies and future growth of telecom tower companies like Bharti Infratel could be at risk as well.

    Telecom gear makers such as Europe’s Ericsson and Nokia, and China’s Huawei could be staring at significant growth challenges with the Supreme Court’s ruling on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) likely to force their main clients Vodafone Idea Ltd. (VIL) and Bharti Airtel to curtail capex plans, say analysts.

    With the balance sheets of the two telcos likely to be further weakened, existing tenancies and future growth of telecom tower companies like Bharti Infratel could be at risk as well, they said.

    Rajiv Sharma, the co-head of research at SBICap Securities, said all vendors would be affected except Samsung (the Korean company sells equipment only to Reliance Jio Infocomm in India, and the country’s newest telecom operator isn’t affected by the judgement) because telcos’ capital expenditure plan would take a back seat.

    “A sharp cut in the capex deployments over the next 12-18 months at the least is expected, and it could be prolonged. VIL will find it hard to do meaningful capex if they were to pay, and Airtel will also be selective,” Sharma added.

  3. Ericsson Spectrum Sharing launches commercially
    By Harry Baldock, Total Telecom, Thursday 27 February 20

    The new software will allow 4G and 5G to be deployed on the same band, improving efficiency and removing the need for reinvestment

    With the availability of spectrum always a thorn in operators’ sides, Ericsson has launched a new software solution that should allow them to get the maximum out of this precious resource.

    Ericsson Spectrum Sharing (ESS) software allows 4G and 5G to share the same band and the same radio, switching between the two in a millisecond based on user demand. It will allow operators to make the most of their existing spectrum, rolling out 5G on their existing LTE bands without needing to reinvest.

    “For the first time, our customers do not have to re-farm spectrum before deploying a new ‘G’ and can quickly get 5G on the same footprint as they have with 4G today,” said Ericsson’s VP and head of networks, Fredrik Jejdling. “In the next 12 months, more than 80 percent of the commercial 5G networks we support will use our spectrum sharing solution to achieve broad 5G coverage.”

    ESS is to be implemented by a range of service providers, including Swisscom, Telstra, Ooredoo, and Play.

    This news comes just days after rival Huawei released its own dynamic spectrum sharing solution, called Hybrid DSS. Nokia has yet to launch a similar product, but reportedly has plans to do so later this year.

  4. Reducing 5G’s energy consumption is ‘an industry responsibility’, says Ericsson

    A new report from Ericsson argues that it will be possible to overcome 5G networks “energy curve”
    From 2G to 4G, the increase in energy demand from generation to generation of mobile technology has been steady and predictable. With more data traffic comes higher power consumption, and some operators are predicting that 5G will double their current power usage once fully deployed.

    But it does not have to be this way, suggests a new report from Swedish vendor Ericsson.

    The report outlines a four-point strategy for tackling the issue of power consumption, paraphrased here:

    1) Modernising the network by replacing old, inefficient tech, rather than simply adding to it
    2) Utilising energy saving software to reduce energy demand while retaining network performance
    3) Optimising the 5G network through using new tech to minimise the need for hardware
    4) Capitalising on AI to increase site infrastructure efficiency

    It will come as no surprise that all these points can be facilitated with Ericsson technology. The company’s Energy Infrastructure Operations solution, for example, can offer a decrease of up to 15% in energy-related OpEx and 30% in energy-related outages.

    Nonetheless, it is interesting that the report suggests that new technologies made possible or enhanced by 5G, like AI and machine learning, could play a significant role in reducing power consumption. In a sense, 5G will go some way to solving its own network efficiency problems, but there is still much to be done on the part of the operators.

    “With this new report, we answer the billion-dollar question: is it possible to quadruple data traffic without increasing energy consumption? We believe that it is not only an option, it is an industry responsibility,” said Erik Ekudden, Eriksson’s senior VP, CTO and head of group function technology. “We are now sharing our insights into how the industry can achieve this new reality.”

    With the world in a climate crisis, the telecoms industry is slowly increasing the pace of its environmental projects. Many operators have already pledged to go carbon neutral, but the target dates vary widely. O2, for example, recently announcing its new 2025 target, but rival BT still wants another quarter of a century to reach its target, currently aiming for carbon neutrality in 2045.

    Some operators are doing a much better job – Finnish operator Elisa earlier this week announcing that it was on course to achieve carbon neutrality this year – but for the rest of the industry reducing energy consumption should be a priority when deploying 5G, not an afterthought.

    As operators around the world race to deploy 5G as quickly as possible, energy efficiency should be at the forefront of their mind. An efficient strategy to deploying 5G will not only save them money but could also help save the planet.

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