Ericsson to build 5G network in Greenland; demos 5G microwave backhaul with O2 Telefónica

Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson has been contracted to build a 5G network in Greenland, initially covering three towns, local telecom service provider Tusass said on Friday.

Deploying Ericsson equipment and Netgear routers, Tusass will bring high-speed wireless internet to the sparsely populated island without resorting to expensive and hard-to-deploy cables, the company said.   A further 10 towns, including Greenland’s capital Nuuk, are set to follow next.

Tusass said it plans to invest around 1 billion Danish crowns ($131.3 million) to secure and expand Greenland’s infrastructure and improve communication.

Greenland, an island of just 56,000 people, is part of the Kingdom of Denmark but has broad autonomy.

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Separately, Ericsson and O2 Telefónica successfully demo 5G wireless backhaul for non-urban areas.  In the latest of their joint projects in mobile transport, Ericsson and O2 Telefónica have successfully demoed 5G wireless backhaul for rural and suburban coverage. This technology milestone has shown that the companies can deliver speeds of up to 10 Gbps over a distance of more than 10 km and demonstrate fiber-like microwave connectivity.

The result of this important demo showed that microwave backhaul over traditional bands can support the continued build-out of high-performing 5G networks and enhanced mobile broadband services from urban to suburban and rural areas – one of the key challenges facing communications service providers in scaling up their 5G deployment.

“We deliver fast mobile 5G connections to millions of customers across Germany. Bringing digitalization to suburban and rural areas through mobile connectivity and fast 5G network rollout has therefore priority for us,” says Aysenur Senyer, Director of Transport Networks at O2 Telefónica.

“Together with our partner Ericsson, we are pioneering new powerful microwave solutions using Carrier Aggregation and MIMO technology to backhaul 5G traffic over long distances in rural areas, when fiber is not an option. This type of technology enables us to deliver fiber-like connectivity via microwave and further accelerate our 5G deployment.”

Ricardo Queirós, Head of Microwave Systems, Business Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “Access to high-speed mobile services is key to bridging the digital divide. This joint demo with O2 Telefónica in Germany demonstrates how microwave backhaul can efficiently spread high-performing 5G to regions outside the traditional dense urban areas.”

“Wireless backhaul has been instrumental to the success of mobile networks and their nationwide coverage. Now it is time to push the boundaries and evolve microwave transmission technology to enable high-performance 5G coverage on a much broader scale,” Queirós adds.

The shift to working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic illustrated the need for fast and reliable connectivity in non-urban environments, and the challenge has been to maintain telecom-grade availability beyond distances of two to three kilometers.

The ability to deliver such high data speeds over distances of more than 10 km – the cruising altitude of a commercial jet – opens up a new world of possibilities for the delivery of low-latency, reliable broadband in harder-to-reach areas.

Traditionally, such areas have been difficult to service, as high capacities require broad bandwidths that usually only have been available in millimeter wave frequency bands (E-band). The E-band is more impacted by rain compared to the lower frequency bands, which makes it more difficult to deliver consistent service over long distances during adverse weather conditions.

Technical details

In the joint demo with O2 Telefónica in Germany, the key innovation is the ability to use MIMO with high modulation in the 112MHz channels (commercial MIMO solutions support up to 56 MHz channels), which were combined with Carrier Aggregation to enable similar capacities to E-band in the lower frequency bands. The demo solution has extended the hop-length with extremely high capacity even in less favorable weather conditions.

The backhaul link utilized the 18GHz frequency band, dual antennas in a MIMO configuration, and commercial MINI-LINK radios together with a pre-commercial baseband algorithm that allowed the use of MIMO in 2x 112 MHz channels. MIMO ensures the efficient use of limited spectrum resources. The same capacity without MIMO would demand a 448 MHz bandwidth in a cross-polar setup.

Microwave backhaul is commonly seen as a more cost- and time-efficient option compared to fiber deployment. The O2 Telefónica demo has shown that high availability and high capacity can also be achieved with wireless transport.

The demo is the latest in a series of collaborations with O2 Telefónica in Germany stretching back over several years. Ericsson is one of the service provider’s main suppliers in all areas of microwave technology and the two companies have carried out several successful joint projects around microwave technology, with more planned for the future.

References:

https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/ericsson-wins-greenland-5g-deal-2022-09-30/

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2022/9/ericsson-and-o2-telefonica-demo-5g-wireless-backhaul-for-non-urban-areas

Ericsson Mobility Report: 5G subscriptions in Q2 2022 are 690 million (vs. 8.3 billion total mobile users)

According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, total mobile subscriptions increased by 52 million to reach 8.3 billion.

Global 5G subscriptions grew by 70 million in the second quarter of 2022, reaching 690 million in the second quarter of 2022, according to Ericsson.  Despite the challenges and obstacles, 5G adoption is progressing faster than 4G (we disagree).

Ericsson’s Mobility Report also details how people are using their mobile phones, with mobile data usage increasing dramatically year-on-year. Between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022, network data traffic increased by 39%. The growth from Q1 2022 to Q2 2022 was also 8%.

Ericsson attributes the growth to increased consumption of media on mobile devices driven by faster speeds offered by 5G.  Here are the report’s highlights:

•In Q2 2022, the total number of mobile subscriptions was around 8.3 billion, with a net addition of 52 million subscriptions during the quarter.  Mobile broadband accounts for 86 percent of all mobile subscriptions.

• 5G subscriptions total 690 million (but in China, there are many 5G plan subscribers who can only get 4G service).

• China accounted for the most net additions during the quarter (+10 million), followed by India (+7 million) and Indonesia (+4 million).

• Global mobile subscription penetration was 106 percent.  That means more than one mobile device per person!

• The number of mobile broadband subscriptions grew by about 100 million in the quarter to reach 7.2 billion, a year-on-year increase of 6 percent. Mobile broadband now accounts for 86 percent of all mobile subscriptions.

• The number of unique mobile subscribers is 6.1 billion. The difference between the number of subscriptions and the number of subscribers is due to inactive subscriptions, multiple device ownership and/or the optimization of subscriptions for different types of calls.

• 5G subscriptions grew by 70 million during the quarter, lifting the total to 690 million. Meanwhile, 218 communications service providers have launched commercial 5G services and 24 have launched 5G standalone (SA) networks.

• 4G subscriptions increased by 77 million to around 5 billion, representing 60 percent of all mobile subscriptions, while WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions declined by 41 million. GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions dropped by 48 million during the quarter, and other technologies3 decreased by about 6 million.

Mobile network data traffic grew 39 percent between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022 and reached 100ExaBytes per month.  The quarter-on-quarter mobile network data traffic growth between Q1 2022 and Q2 2022 was 8 percent. Total monthly global mobile network data traffic reached 100EB. Over the long term, traffic5 growth is driven by both the rising number of smartphone subscriptions and an increasing average data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by increased viewing of video content. There are large differences in traffic levels between markets, regions and service providers.

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/reports-and-papers/mobility-report

https://www.ericsson.com/4a4be7/assets/local/reports-papers/mobility-report/documents/2022/ericsson-mobility-report-q2-2022.pdf

Ericsson and Nokia demonstrate 5G Network Slicing on Google Pixel 6 Pro phones running Android 13 mobile OS

In separate announcements today, Ericsson and Nokia stated they had completed 5G Network Slicing trials with Google on Pixel 6 Pro smart phones running the Android 13 mobile OS [1.].

Network Slicing is perhaps the most highly touted benefits of 5G, but its commercial realization is taking much longer than most of the 5G cheerleaders expected.  That is because Network Slicing, like all 5G features, can only be realized on a 5G standalone (SA) network, very few of which have been deployed by wireless network operators.  Network slicing software must be resident in the 5G SA Core network and the 5G endpoint device, in this case the Google Pixel 6 Pro smartphone.

Note 1.  On August 15, 2022, Google released Android 13 -the latest version of its mobile OS. It comes with a number of new features and improvements, as well as offers better security and performance fixes.  However, it’s implementation on smartphones will be fragmented and slow according to this blog post.

For devices running Android 12 or higher, Android provides support for 5G Network Slicing, the use of network virtualization to divide single network connections into multiple distinct virtual connections that provide different amounts of resources to different types of traffic. 5G network slicing allows network operators to dedicate a portion of the network to providing specific features for a particular segment of customers. Android 12 introduces the following 5G enterprise network slicing capabilities, which network operators can provide to their enterprise clients.

Android 12 introduces support for 5G network slicing through additions to the telephony codebase in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and the Tethering module to incorporate existing connectivity APIs that are required for network slicing.

Here’s a functional block diagram depicting 5G network slicing architecture in AOSP:

5G network slicing architecture in AOSP

Image Credit: Android Open Source Project

1.  Ericsson and Google demonstrated support on Ericsson network infrastructure for multiple slices on a single device running Android 13, supporting both enterprise (work profile) and consumer applications. In addition, for the first time, a slice for carrier branded services will allow communications service providers (CSP) to provide extra flexibility for customized offerings and capabilities. A single device can make use of multiple slices, which are used according to the on-device user profiles and network policies defined at the CSP level.

The results were achieved in an Interoperability Device Testing (IODT) environment on Google Pixel 6 (Pro) devices using Android 13. The new release sees an expansion of the capabilities for enterprises assigning network slicing to applications through User Equipment Route Selection Policy (URSP ) rules, which is the feature that enables one device using Android to connect to multiple network slices simultaneously.  

Two different types of slices were made available on a device’s consumer profile, apart from the default mobile broadband (MBB) slice. App developers can now request what connectivity category (latency or bandwidth) their app will need and then an appropriate slice, whose characteristics are defined by the mobile network, will be selected. In this way either latency or bandwidth can be prioritized, according to the app’s requirements. For example, the app could use a low-latency slice that has been pre-defined by the mobile network for online gaming, or a pre-defined high-bandwidth slice to stream or take part in high-definition video calling. 

In an expansion of the network slicing support offered by Android 12, Android 13 will also allow for up to five enterprise-defined slices to be used by the device’s work profile. In situations where no USRP rules are available, carriers can configure their network so traffic from work profile apps can revert to a pre-configured enterprise APN (Access Point Name) connection – meaning the device will always keep a separate mobile data connection for enterprise- related traffic even if the network does not support URSP delivery. 

Monica Zethzon, Head of Solution Area Packet Core at Ericsson said: “As carriers and enterprises seek a return on their investment in 5G networks, the ability to provide for a wide and varied selection of use cases is of crucial importance. Communications Service Providers and enterprises who can offer customers the flexibility to take advantage of tailored network slices for both work and personal profiles on a single Android device are opening up a vast reserve of different uses of those devices. By confirming that the new network slicing capabilities offered by Android 13 will work fully with Ericsson network technology, we are marking a significant step forward in helping the full mobile ecosystem realize the true value of 5G.”  

Ericsson and partners have delivered multiple pioneering network slicing projects using the Android 12 device ecosystem. In July, Telefonica and Ericsson announced a breakthrough in end-to-end, automated network slicing in 5G Standalone mode.  

2.  Nokia and Google announced that they have successfully trialed innovative network slice selection functionality on 4G/5G networks using UE Route Selection Policy (URSP) [2.] technology and Google Pixel 6 (Pro) phones running Android 13. Once deployed, the solution will enable operators to provide new 5G network slicing services and enhance the customer application experience of devices with Android 13. Specifically, URSP capabilities enable a smartphone to connect to multiple network slices simultaneously via different enterprise and consumer applications depending on a subscriber’s specific requirements.  The trial, which took place at Nokia’s network slicing development center in Tampere, Finland, also included LTE-5G New Radio slice interworking functionality. This will enable operators to maximally utilize existing network assets such as spectrum and coverage.

Note 2. User Equipment Route Selection (URSP) is the feature that enables one device using Android to connect to multiple network slices simultaneously.  It’s a feature that both Nokia and Google are supporting.

URSP capabilities extend network slicing to new types of applications and use cases, allowing network slices to be tailored based on network performance, traffic routing, latency, and security. For example, an enterprise customer could send business-sensitive information using a secure and high-performing network slice while participating in a video call using another slice at the same time. Additionally, consumers could receive personalized network slicing services for example for cloud gaming or high-quality video streaming. The URSP-based network slicing solution is also compatible with Nokia’s new 5G radio resource allocation mechanisms as well as slice continuity capabilities over 4G and 5G networks.

The trial was conducted using Nokia’s end-to-end 4G/5G network slicing product portfolio across RAN-transport-core as well as related control and management systems. The trial included 5G network slice selection and connectivity based on enterprise and consumer application categories as well as 5G NR-LTE slice interworking functionalities.

Nokia is the industry leader in 4G/5G network slicing and was the first to demonstrate 4G/5G network slicing across RAN-Transport-Core with management and assurance. Nokia’s network slicing solution supports all LTE, 5G NSA, and 5G SA devices, enabling mobile operators to utilize a huge device ecosystem and provide slice continuity over 4G and 5G.

Nokia has carried out several live network deployments and trials with Nokia’s global customer base including deployments of new slicing capabilities such as Edge Slicing in Virtual Private Networks, LTE-NSA-SA end-to-end network slicing, Fixed Wireless Access slicing, Sliced Private Wireless as well as Slice Management Automation and Orchestration.

Ari Kynäslahti, Head of Strategy and Technology at Nokia Mobile Networks, said: “New application-based URSP slicing solutions widen operator’s 5G network business opportunities. We are excited to develop and test new standards-based URSP technologies with Android that will ensure that our customers can provide leading-edge enterprise and consumer services using Android devices and Nokia’s 4G/5G networks.”

Resources:

Nokia AirScale

Automated network slicing

5G Edge Slicing | Nokia

Network slicing explained

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Addendum:

  • Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, which run on Android 12, are the first two devices certified on Rogers 5G SA network in Canada, which was deployed in October 2021.  However, 5G network slicing hasn’t been announced yet.
  • Telia deployed a commercial 5G standalone network in Finland using gear from Nokia and the operator highlighted its ability to introduce network slicing now that it has a 5G SA core.
  • OPPO, a Chinese consumer electronics and mobile communications company headquartered in Dongguan, Guangdong, recently demonstrated the pre-commercial 5G enterprise network slicing product at its 5G Communications Lab in collaboration with Ericsson and Qualcomm.  OPPO has been conducting research and development in 5G network slicing together with network operators and other partners for a number of years now.
  • Earlier this month, Nokia and Safaricom completed Africa’s first Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) 5G network slicing trial.

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2022/8/ericsson-and-google-show-how-multiple-network-slices-on-a-single-android-13-device-can-boost-consumer-and-enterprise-applications

https://www.nokia.com/about-us/news/releases/2022/08/25/nokia-and-google-trial-innovative-slicing-solution-for-android-devices-and-4g5g-networks/

https://source.android.com/docs/core/connect/5g-slicing

https://news.abplive.com/technology/android-13-release-roll-out-which-users-getting-it-fragmentation-issue-1549758

Network Slicing and 5G: Why it’s important, ITU-T SG 13 work, related IEEE ComSoc paper abstracts/overviews

Nokia and Safaricom complete Africa’s first Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) 5G network slicing trial

Ericsson and Orange Spain in 5G VR trial at Madrid’s Mad Cool festival

Orange Spain is the official sponsor of the Madrid’s Mad Cool festival (July 6-10 ), which will see 60,000 daily fans enjoying performances from dozens of rock, pop and Indie stars, including headline acts such as Metallica, Imagine Dragons, Muse, the Killers, Florence + the Machine, the Pixies, and Jack White.

To make the unique immersive reality experience possible, Ericsson and Orange Spain are using 5G connectivity with virtual reality (VR) glasses that collect real-time images captured by three panoramic cameras strategically located on the stage.

The images are projected on a video wall at an Orange Spain company stand at the festival site. Stand visitors can use VR glasses to interact with the projections, allowing fans to enjoy the festival as if they are actually on stage with the artists.

Photo courtesy of Orange Spain

Ericsson’s indoor solution, the Ericsson Radio Dot System, is providing dedicated 5G coverage during the Mad Cool Festival. The solution, which is based on multi-band small cell technology, ensures seamless connectivity to the VR glasses despite high volumes of data traffic on site.

In addition, all fans with Orange 5G subscriptions attending the festival can benefit from improved connectivity across the venue. Four mid-band TDD (Time Division Duplex) 5G macro cells, using Ericsson Antenna-Integrated Radio (AIR) technology, are providing seamless mobility user experiences for all attendees who connect to Orange’s mobile network during the event.

Sonia Rico, Director of Brand, Communication and Sponsorships, Orange Spain, says:” This is the first musical event sponsored by Orange. Following a hiatus due to COVID-19, we want to celebrate the return of Mad Cool by guaranteeing the best connectivity, for both the public and the organizers, through our state-of-the-art 5G and fiber networks. In addition, thanks to virtual reality, we can offer a unique experience to attendees – the union of digital and human – which we hope will be unforgettable.”

Iván Rejón, Director of Marketing and Communication, Ericsson Iberia, says:” Technology is reimagining the future of the culture and entertainment industry. The use of 5G and the technologies it enables, such as virtual or mixed reality, opens the doors to inexhaustible possibilities. Thanks to Orange’s 5G network and Ericsson’s 5G technology, connectivity enabling festival goers to enjoy a more immersive experience – placing them at the center of the action.”

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2022/7/ericsson-and-orange-spain-5g-put-festival-fans-on-stage

Ericsson focuses on private 5G in China due to national directives

Ericsson will shift its focus towards helping Chinese businesses to build their own private 5G networks, according to an excerpt from a report by Caixin Global. The news outlet cited remarks by Fang Ying, president of Ericsson’s China operations, at a news briefing on 22 June. Fang said there are growth opportunities in the private 5G networks sector after the aggressive pace of construction in 5G infrastructure nationwide over the past three years.

Dell’Oro Group’s Stefan Pongranz explains this increased focus on private 5G in China are stimulated by several key national directives:

(1) The Made in China 2025 Initiative, which pushes for greater usage of industrial robotics and automation in 10 key strategic sectors,

(2) The Internet Plus Plan, an initiative to transform, modernize, and equip traditional industries with more advanced technologies, and

(3) Set Sail Action Plan for 5G Applications, which targets 3,000 private industrial networks and a 35% 5G penetration rate in large industrial enterprises by 2023.

Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia are all reporting some initial success with private 5G industrial opportunities.  Verizon has explored multiple solutions and found that Celona’s 5G LAN technology is easy to scale downward, could be setup in hours, and straight-forward to integrate with the existing LAN.

Perhaps more importantly, the RAN is just one piece of the private 5G puzzle. While there is limited data at this juncture to suggest that the average private RAN network as a share of total cost of ownership (TCO) will be materially different than the public RAN share (10% to 15% of total TCO), it is safe to assume that the value, the role and the importance of the RAN will differ significantly depending on the segment and the use cases.

In short, it is still early days when it comes to private 5G. But the opportunity is large and private 5G is projected to surpass $1 billion by 2025. Optimized private solutions and services will play an important role simplifying and accelerating private LTE and 5G. And if Cisco and AWS are right, it will be interesting to see how the private 5G ramp will impact the RAN vendor dynamics.

References:

https://www.caixinglobal.com/2022-06-23/ericsson-to-drive-growth-in-china-through-private-5g-network-plan-101903257.html

https://www.fiercewireless.com/private-wireless/private-5g-ecosystem-improves-especially-china-pongratz

June 2022 Ericsson Mobility Report: 5G subscriptions increased by 70 million in Q1-2022 to reach 620 million

Ericsson new Mobility Report [1.] states that mobile network data traffic grew 10% between the 4th quarter of 2021 and the 1st quarter of 2022. For the year-over-year comparison, growth reached 40%.  “In absolute numbers, this means that it has doubled in just two years (since Q1 2020),” the company wrote in its Mobility Report, released June 20th.  “Over the long term, traffic growth is driven by both the rising number of smartphone subscriptions and an increasing average data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by increased viewing of video content,” the company added.

The figures are important considering that mobile network operators are rushing to add new spectrum to their networks while upgrading their networks to support 5G, especially 5G SA Core Network. Purchasing both spectrum and 5G equipment is expensive. In the US, for example, mobile network operators are collectively spending an estimated $275 billion to improve their networks with more spectrum, cell sites and 5G.

Note 1. The Ericsson Mobility Report started in 2011, when Ericsson decided to share data and insights openly to all those interested in understanding our industry’s development. Since then, the report and featured articles have seen a continuous evolution and an expanding scope.

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Speaking during a webinar to discuss the report’s findings, Richard Möller, senior market analyst at Ericsson, noted that the number of 5G subscribers worldwide had been expected to reach 660 million by the end of 2021.  It now seems that the figure was less than forecast: Ericsson is now saying that 5G subscriptions increased by 70 million in Q1 2022 to reach 620 million.  The 40 million shortfall is due to changes in how China’s mobile operators are reporting their 5G subscriber figures. Indeed, it has become noticeable over the past year that the Chinese operators are starting to split out “5G package customers” from actual 5G network customers.

“Now we have official numbers and we’ve adjusted our estimates accordingly,” Möller said. “China is early and so large that it affects the global number.”   He noted that this adjustment does not “materially affect” the five-year growth forecast. Ericsson is therefore sticking to its estimate of 4.4 billion 5G subscribers by the end of 2027, meaning that 5G will account for almost half of all mobile subscriptions by that point.  5G subscriber growth is expected to accelerate in 2022, reaching around one billion subscribers by the end of the year. The report noted that North America and North East Asia currently have the highest 5G subscription penetration, followed by the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Western Europe.  In 2027, it is projected that North America will have the highest 5G penetration at 90%. In India, where 5G deployments have yet to begin, 5G is expected to account for nearly 40% of all subscriptions by 2027.

At the same time, Möller warned that the war in Ukraine, supply chain constraints and rising inflation will affect future growth.  “That’s made us take 100 million subscriptions off the current forecast.  However, history has shown that mobile telephony is one of the things that people hang on to … even if the economic world turns negative,” he said.

The report’s executive editor Peter Jonsson said the current uncertainties mean that Ericsson has to be especially careful with its forecasts. However, he reiterated the point that global 5G uptake “is about two years ahead of 4G” on a comparative basis. In addition, 5G rollout “reached 25% of the world’s population about 18 months faster than 4G.”

Global mobile network data traffic and year-over-year growth:

According to Ericsson, mobile subscribers are making use of the additional network capacity and faster speeds provided by those investments. The company said that, globally, the average smartphone user is expected to consume 15GB per month in 2022.  Indeed, the 5G share of mobile data traffic is growing, but not as fast as FWA (3G/4G/5G).  Continued strong smartphone adoption and video consumption are driving up mobile data traffic, with 5G accounting for around 10 percent of the total in 2021.

In North America, the company estimated that average monthly mobile data usage per smartphone could reach as high as 52GB in 2027. “The data traffic generated per minute of use will increase significantly in line with the expected uptake of new XR and video-based apps,” the company wrote. “This is due to higher video resolutions, increased uplink traffic, and more data from devices off-loaded to cloud compute resources.”

Also, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) in on the rise as per this graphic:

Over 100 million FWA connections in 2022:

More than 75 percent of service providers surveyed in over 100 countries are offering fixed wireless access (FWA) services. Around 20 percent of these service providers apply differential pricing with speed-based tariff plans.

OpenVault, another vendor that tracks data traffic on wired networks in North America, recently reported similar findings. According to OpenVault, the average wired Internet customer consumed a total of 536.3GB in the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of 165% over the firm’s findings from the fourth quarter of 2017, when consumption was 202.6GB.

Taken together, the companies’ findings paint a picture of a dramatic expansion in data demand on wired and wireless networks in North America and globally. Indeed, such increases have already sparked unprecedented demand in vendors’ networking equipment to keep pace with demands. Further, such demand has already withstood several price increases among many leading vendors.

The situation reflects the importance of telecom networks globally following a pandemic that pushed many to work and school remotely from home. And in response to the situation, governments globally have begun pushing network operators to construct networks in underserved areas, and to Internet users themselves who may struggle to afford such connections.

 

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/reports-and-papers/mobility-report

https://www.ericsson.com/49d3a0/assets/local/reports-papers/mobility-report/documents/2022/ericsson-mobility-report-june-2022.pdf

https://www85.lightreading.com/5g/global-mobile-network-data-traffic-doubles-in-two-years-ericsson-finds/d/d-id/7783?

https://www.lightreading.com/5g/china-effect-dampens-interim-5g-subs-says-ericsson/d/d-id/778394?

https://www.ctia.org/the-wireless-industry/the-5g-economy

Will 2022 be the year for 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) or a conundrum for telcos?

https://viodi.com/2020/05/05/openvault-broadband-usage-47-in-q1-2020-power-users-are-the-new-normal/

OpenVault: Broadband Internet Usage Accelerated in 2018

 

BT and Ericsson in partnership to provide commercial 5G private networks in the UK

BT and Ericsson have entered a new multi-million-pound joint partnership to provide commercial 5G private networks for the UK market – the first agreement of its kind.  The multi-year contract will enable BT to sell 5G services to businesses and organizations in industries like manufacturing, defense, education, retail, healthcare, transport and logistics.  It’s critically important to note that to be effective, a 5G private network requires a 5G Core which facilitates all the 5G features and essentials, e.g. network slicing, automation, MEC, security, etc.

The agreement comes just after BT confirmed it was investing close to £100m over the next three years to accelerate the development of customer solutions which integrate emerging technologies like 5G, IoT, Edge Compute, Cloud and AI.

5G Private Networks provide secure indoor and outdoor 5G cellular coverage, making them suitable for a range of uses – particularly in environments such as factories, education campuses and other large sites where security and ultra-low latency connectivity are important.

New innovative applications and IoT capabilities can be enabled through a private 5G network to improve productivity, optimise operations and drive cost savings, such as asset tracking, predictive maintenance, connected sensors, real-time data processing, automation and robotics.

According to a forecast from MarketResearch.com, 5G Private Networks are predicted to grow at an average rate of 40 per cent a year between 2021 and 2028, by which time the market will be worth $14bn (£10.7bn).  Both BT and Ericsson believe there is significant demand from UK businesses looking to take advantage of the benefits the new technology can provide.

From MarketResearch.com:

“Key market players are strategically building partnerships with industry giants to set up a private 5G network to provide high-speed secure connectivity to their customers. For instance, in Feb 2020, Nokia Corporation deployed a private 5G network infrastructure for Lufthansa Technik for virtual inspection of engine parts remotely for its civil aviation clients. Moreover, the rising demand for enhanced bandwidth connectivity for secured enterprise applications is anticipated to fuel the adoption of private 5G services globally.”

Marc Overton, BT’s Managing Director for Division X, Enterprise, said: “This UK-first we have signed with Ericsson is a huge milestone and will play a major role in enabling businesses’ transformation, ushering in a new era of hyper-connected spaces.

“We have combined our skill and expertise at building converged fixed and mobile networks with Ericsson’s leading, sustainable and secure 5G network equipment, to offer a pioneering new proposition that will be attractive to many industries. 5G private networks will also support smart factory processes and the advancement of Industry 4.0 which can realise significant cost savings and efficiencies for manufacturers.

“Unlike a public network, a private 5G network can be configured to a specific business’s needs, as well as by individual site or location. They also provide the foundation to overlay other innovative technologies such as IoT, AI, VR and AR, opening up a multitude of possibilities.”

Katherine Ainley, CEO Ericsson UK & Ireland said: “This ground-breaking agreement with BT means we are together taking a leading role in ensuring 5G has a transformative impact for the UK. The high quality, fast and secure connectivity provided by Ericsson Private 5G can help organisations make all-important efficiency gains that can create safer, more productive, and sustainable business operations and help the country build global leaders in the industries and technologies of the future.”

Case study:   BT and Ericsson have already worked together on several major projects incorporating private 5G networks, including Belfast Harbour in Northern Ireland, as they accelerate its ambition to become the world’s best regional smart port.

The partners have installed a 5G private network across 35 acres of operational port. This is helping to drive operational efficiencies and accelerate its digital transformation through optimising processes across transport, logistics, supply chain and shipping, as well as boosting productivity through the smooth-running of the Port’s operations.

Every year more than 1.75 million people and over half a million freight vehicles arrive and depart through the Port every year. While 24 million tonnes of goods are managed and carried by ferries, container ships and cargo vessels.

“With activity on that scale you need smart technology that can really make a difference. And that’s what our standalone private 5G network is enabling at the Port,” added Marc Overton.

“We’re now into phase two of the project and this includes various use cases such as teleoperation of heavy plant machinery, artificial reality (AR) for remote maintenance, as well as enhanced video AI analytics and the use of drones for surveillance and inspections.”

The partnership is also exploring how 5G and other emerging technologies such as AI, IoT and Connected Autonomous Vehicles can be used together to enhance public safety, physical security, and address climate change across the Port and other parts of Belfast City.

Mike Dawson, Corporate Services Director, Belfast Harbour Commissioners, said: “Throughout 2021 and to the end of 2022, we will have completed the implementation of both Public and Private 5G Networks. These are the foundation for several Smart and Green port initiatives, including CCTV cameras, Air Quality Monitors, Drones, MiFi units to maximise operational efficiencies and a Digital Twin. The technologies have supported our data collection on the movement of people and things through our Road Traffic Screens, Wayfinding App and a Community App for Traffic.”

About BT:

BT Group is the UK’s leading provider of fixed and mobile telecommunications and related secure digital products, solutions and services. We also provide managed telecommunications, security and network and IT infrastructure services to customers across 180 countries.

BT Group consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer serves individuals and families in the UK; Enterprise and Global are our UK and international business-focused units respectively; Openreach is an independently governed, wholly owned subsidiary, which wholesales fixed access infrastructure services to its customers – over 650 communication providers across the UK.

British Telecommunications plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/about

References:

https://newsroom.bt.com/bt-and-ericsson-sign-multi-million-pound-partnership-to-provide-commercial-5g-networks/

https://www.marketresearch.com/Grand-View-Research-v4060/Private-5G-Network-Size-Share-14553525/

OpenRAN and Private 5G – New Opportunities and Challenges

IEEE/SCU SoE Virtual Event: May 26, 2022- Critical Cybersecurity Issues for Cellular Networks (3G/4G, 5G), IoT, and Cloud Resident Data Centers

 

Deutsche Telekom launches 5G private campus network with Ericsson;  Sovereign Cloud for Germany with Google in Spring 2022

Overview:

Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom have partnered to deliver a new 5G Standalone (5G SA) private campus network offering, aimed at on-site business communications infrastructure. The new campus network offering is based on a local 5G infrastructure that is exclusively available for the customer’s digital applications. The 5G SA technology works without LTE anchors (as in 5G NSA) and offers all the technical advantages of 5G – even for particularly demanding and safety-critical use cases: fast data transmission rates, maximum network capacity and highly reliable connectivity with low latency.

With the advanced 5G SA technology, Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson support companies from a wide range of industries in developing innovative digital applications and making existing processes more efficient.

The newly offered 5G SA Campus network – powered by the Ericsson Private 5G portfolio – operates completely separated from the public mobile network: all components of the infrastructure from the antennas to the standalone core network to the network server are located on the customer’s premises. This ensures that sensitive data remains exclusively within the local campus network. The local connection of the customer infrastructure also enables particularly simple and fast processing of data via the private network. This standalone 5G architecture of “short distances” is most suitable for supporting business-critical applications that require ultra-short response times in the millisecond range. The 5G SA network operates on frequencies in the 3.7 to 3.8 GHz range that are specifically allocated to the enterprise. Thus, up to 100 MHz bandwidth is available for the exclusive use within the private campus network.

The new 5G private campus network is being launched in Germany under the name “Campus-Netz Private” – and will be offered to business customers in other European countries.

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Analysis: It is quite interesting that Deutsche Telekom chose Ericsson as it’s 5G SA Core network vendor, rather than hyper-scalers like Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure who are building 5G SA core networks for Dish Network and AT&T respectively.  Amazon also offers its own private 5G network directly to enterprise customers.  So does Microsoft which offers Azure private multi-access edge compute.  Earlier this year, Fierce Wireless reported that Google did NOT have a private 5G network offering, but was partnering with other companies to offer one.

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Sidebar:

Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems has partnered with Google Cloud to build and deliver sovereign cloud services to German enterprises, healthcare firms and the public. The two companies say that the goal of this sovereign cloud is to allow customers to host their sensitive workloads while still being able to leverage all the benefits of the public cloud, such as scalability and reliability. The launch of the new Sovereign Cloud for Germany will take place ahead of schedule: Telekom’s business customer arm T-Systems and Google Cloud are launching their new sovereign cloud service in spring 2022. It will be available for all clients, initially out of the Frankfurt Google Cloud Region. Telekom and Google confirmed that they will jointly drive innovation for the cloud, closely aligned with the new German government’s digital plans which aims to build a public administration cloud based on a multi-cloud strategy and open interfaces, as well as meeting strict sovereignty and transparency requirements. To this end, the partners are setting up a Co-Innovation Center in Munich as announced in November 2021. In addition, executive briefing facilities in Munich and one in Berlin will be established for close collaboration with customers.

“Many companies in Germany state that sovereignty matters to them when choosing their Cloud provider. This is particularly important for key sectors such as public, healthcare and automotive,” Höttges said. “That’s why we’re delighted to offer a Sovereign Cloud that addresses additional European compliance requirements.”

In this new joint offering, T-Systems will manage a set of sovereignty controls and measures, including encryption and identity management. In addition, T-Systems will exercise a control function over relevant parts of the German Google Cloud infrastructure. Any physical or virtual access to facilities in Germany (such as routine maintenance and upgrades) will be under the supervision of T-Systems and Google Cloud.

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5G SA Campus Network: Full Control & Flexible Deployment:

Customers can adapt their private 5G SA network flexibly according to their own requirements as well as manage it independently: Whether for real-time communication of robots in factories or for connecting automated vehicles on company premises. Customers can prioritize data traffic within their campus network for specific applications as needed.

The mobile network is administered on site via a cloud-based network management portal by the customer’s IT staff – for example, the administration of users, 5G modules and SIM cards to access the 5G-SA campus network or to the machine control system. The closed system is characterized by its particularly high data security and reliability: Due to the redundant architecture of the local core network, the 5G SA campus network continues to function reliably even in the event of an interruption to the cloud-based management portal.

Managed service by Deutsche Telekom:

If business customers decide to deploy their own 5G SA network, Deutsche Telekom analyzes with them the critical business applications and the requirements for the private mobile network. Due to the simplified local infrastructure, the network can be built from planning to the handover to the customer within just three months. Network equipment supplier Ericsson provides the required modern 5G SA technology, while Telekom takes on the planning, deployment, operation as well as maintenance and optimization. Telekom also provides the set-up and updates so that companies can focus on their core business.

“When it comes to digitalization, industry and SMEs need a reliable partner,” says Hagen Rickmann, Managing Director Business Customers at Telekom Deutschland GmbH. “Together with Ericsson, we help business customers in every industry to increase their productivity and exploit their full potential using 5G standalone technology.”

Arun Bansal, Executive Vice President and Head of Market Area Europe & Latin America at Ericsson says: “Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson share a long-standing partnership in innovation, technology and services. Together, we offer secure, reliable and high-performance network solutions tailored to the specific business needs of our customers.”

Image Credit:  Deutsche Telekom

5G Campus Network Private – Available for testing on site:

Deutsche Telekom has already been offering campus network solutions for enterprises since the beginning of 2019 and by now operates more than ten of such local networks based on 5G non-standalone technology or LTE across Germany. With the new fully private 5G SA Campus network solution, the company is expanding its business customer offering with the next development stage of 5G. The new product is being launched in Germany from now on under the name “Campus-Netz Private” – and is also offered to business customers in further European countries. For interested customers, mobile Campus 5G SA test systems are available to test their own use cases on site.

Use Cases and Industry Verticals:

There is currently a huge drive to get private 5G networks onto factory floors for manufacturing.  There are some interesting examples of using IoT technology, feeding information back via high speed wireless connections, and analyzing data with machine learning/AI tools to optimize operations and do new things like predictive maintenance.  Ericsson touts several industry verticals as candidates for its 5G private network offerings: Airports, Energy Utilities, Airports, Mining, Manufacturing, Ports, Offshore and Processing.

The drive towards business 5G adoptions is reflected In Ericsson’s Q4 2021 financials, in which private networks for enterprise were cited as one of the key drivers of its 41% YoY jump in profit. Evidently, Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom see a lot of potential in private 5G for industrial applications.

References:

https://www.telekom.com/en/media/media-information/archive/new-5g-standalone-campus-networks-645348

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/3/2022/private-and-secure-new-5g-campus-network-offer-by-deutsche-telekom

https://www.fiercewireless.com/private-wireless/google-leader-private-wireless-doesnt-offer-specific-product-it

https://telecoms.com/513200/dt-and-ericsson-launch-new-5g-sa-campus-offering/

https://www.ericsson.com/en/dedicated-networks

https://www.telekom.com/en/media/media-information/archive/telekom-and-google-expand-partnership-645356

https://www.thefastmode.com/technology-solutions/18460-nokia-deploys-private-5g-campus-network-for-industrial-iot-specialist-mynxg-in-nuremburg

Mobile Experts: Ericsson #1 in RAN market; Huawei falls to #3

According to a new report from analyst firm Mobile Experts, Ericsson leapt into the #1 position in the RAN market for 2021. Ericsson (see Table 1. at bottom of this article), which achieved a 26.9% share of a market that grew by about 3% in value to be worth in the region of $45 billion last year.

Sanctions hit Huawei very hard as the Chinese tech giant dropped to third place in the RAN market in terms of the value of sales with a 20.4% market share.  Huawei had a shortfall of roughly $4B last year due to the company’s inability to produce high-capacity TDD base stations.   That was because of U.S. Government sanctions on the critical components needed.  As a result, Huawei achieved much lower dollar value than their western competitors.

Nokia (21.9% market share) placed third while ZTE achieved fourth place (14.5%) ahead of Samsung (8% market share).

 

“Our approach to forecasting is deeply analytical, using data from more than 100 sources, rather than simply the inputs of five OEMs.  Our approach works. This analyst team has been creating some of the most accurate, detailed forecasting on the market for over a decade,” commented Chief Analyst of Mobile Experts, Joe Madden. “We have developed relationships with suppliers, operators, and vendors that give us data for a three-pronged approach to triangulation on mobile infrastructure revenue.”

Mobile Experts’ models show the RAN market growing at a CAGR (Cumulative Annualized Growth Rate) of 3%, with -1% growth in macro base stations and 25%-35% growth in millimeter wave and software segments. The analyst firm, known for their unmatched accuracy, leverage over a decade of ear-to-ground experience in this market to present this detailed market forecast that presents last year’s findings concisely and completely as well as presenting what’s next for the RAN market and its players.

“Overall, the RAN market is looking up. After 30 years of boom-and-bust cycles, the market is currently reaching a peak with 5G deployment in its active mode this year.  In coming years, we see new revenue coming in from private enterprises to offset the natural drop in CSP sales; specifically, the private LTE/5G market will grow by 19%, accounting for more than $4 billion in 2026. As a result, the total RAN market will remain near its 5G peak for a few years, with the possibility for growth in the longer term,” commented Chief Analyst Joe Madden.

Total Year Review for 2021 – Global RAN Revenue:

 

This pre-earnings report offers a comprehensive overview of the RAN market with Mobile Experts’ signature accuracy and detailed breakdowns.  This quarter’s report includes revenue estimates for the top 25 vendors in the RAN market for 2021.    This is the first of a series of quarterly updates, and it is available today for instant download with purchase at www.mobile-experts.net.

For more about this research and buy the report, click here. 

About Mobile Experts Inc.:

Mobile Experts provides insightful market analysis for the mobile infrastructure and mobile handset markets.  Our analysts are true Experts, who remain focused on topics where each analyst has 25 years of experience or more. Research topics center on technology introduction for radio frequency (RF) and communications innovation.  Recent publications include: RAN Revenue, Cellular V2X, Fixed Mobile Convergence,  Edge Computing, In-Building Wireless,  CIoT, URLLC, Macro Base Station Transceivers, Small Cells, VRAN, and Private LTE.

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Table 1: Ericsson’s headline figures (Swedish Krona-SEK billions)

2021 2020 Change
Net sales 232.3 232.4 0%
Gross income 100.7 93.7 7%
Gross margin 43.4% 40.3%
Research and development expenses -42.1 -39.7
Selling and administrative expenses -27.0 -26.7
Impairment losses on trade receivables 0.0 0.1 -134%
Other operating income and expenses 0.4 0.7 -45%
Share in earnings of JV and associated companies -0.3 -0.3
EBIT 31.8 27.8 14%
– of which networks 37.3 30.9 21%
– of which digital services -3.6 -2.2
– of which managed services 1.5 1.6 -6%
– of which emerging business and other -3.4 -2.4
EBIT margin 13.7% 12.0%
Financial income and expenses, net -2.5 -0.6
Income tax -6.3 -9.6 30%
Net income -0.5 -1.3
Source: Ericsson

FWA has limited deployments, many supporters, and great potential

Ericsson’s Mobility Report forecasts FWA (fixed wireless access) connections will “show strong growth of 17% annually through 2027.” That compares to anticipated wireline broadband growth over the same period of only 4%.  The Ericsson report states that 57 network operators have deployed FWA commercial networks.  Finnish telco DNA says FWA is its most popular broadband offering.

Ericsson says Latin America and North America are markets where FWA will play a role in closing the digital divide. Africa may also be promising because of its large rural population and the limited alternatives.

GSMA Intelligence is also enthusiastic about FWA. In a recent blog post it described FWA “as one of the most promising 5G use cases,” providing “an incremental opportunity to maximize the value of existing network assets.”

So is Dell’Oro Group’s Jeff Heynen.  He wrote in an IEEE Techblog post, “We estimate that the total number of 5G FWA devices shipping to operators this year will easily exceed 3 million units and could push 4 million units. The vast majority of these units will be to support sub-6Ghz service offerings, though we also expect to see millimeter wave units, as some operators use a combination of those technologies to provide both extensive coverage and fiber-like speeds in areas where the competition from fixed broadband providers is more intense. Overall, however, we expect volumes first from sub-6GHz units this year and into next year, followed by increasing volumes of millimeter wave units beginning in the latter part of 2022 and into 2023.”

Not to be outdone,  an Accenture analysis commissioned by the CTIA argues that 5G FWA can serve as many as 43% of rural households.

Light Reading’s Robert Clark writes:

Currently fixed wireless, using either 4G or some other technology, accounts for fewer than 100 million worldwide subscribers.

The challenge for 5G, as for earlier generations, is that wireless doesn’t always deliver the best performance or the strongest business case.

Philippines’ Globe Telecom is a case in point. GSMA Intelligence lauds it as a “great example” largely because it launched its 5G network two years ago with a FWA service called Air Fiber.

But two years is a long time, especially when that period includes COVID-19, and we now find that Globe has shifted away from FWA to actual fiber.

Globe’s total fixed wireless subs fell 17% sequentially in Q3 while FTTH subs grew 35%, the company said in a filing. Total home broadband revenues grew 39% thanks to “the accelerated digital habits of the Filipinos brought about by the pandemic.”

China, the global 5G champion with 450 million users, is also indifferent to the possibilities of fixed wireless. You would think this nation with a rural population of some 530 million and vast sparsely settled regions would be a prime market for FWA, but its home broadband priority is gigabit fiber.

Geography is likely the main reason for limited 5G FWA take-up worldwide. 5G is strong in countries already well-served by fiber. Those markets where operators are likely to grow FWA are still in their early stages.

Opinion:

We believe that 5G FWA has great potential.  That is because no standard 5G core network is required and there is no roaming between carriers.  As such, non standard/operator specific private 5G SA core networks can be deployed that can deliver a range of 5G core enabled services, e.g. network slicing, automation, security, MEC, enhanced network management.

However, URLLC in the RAN and in the core network must be standardized, performance tested, and implemented in trials. Then deployed in production networks before the various 5G FWA industrial use cases can be effectively deployed.

References:

https://www.lightreading.com/asia/5g-fixed-wireless-how-far-can-it-go/d/d-id/773784?

https://www.mobileworldlive.com/blog/intelligence-brief-fwa-5g-set-to-bring-disruption-to-broadband-market

Dell’Oro: 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) deployments to be driven by lower cost CPE

https://www.lightreading.com/5g/wireless-industry-report-says-5g-fwa-could-connect-43-of-rural-us/a/d-id/773694