Ericsson has announced an expansion of its successful and long-standing partnership with Google Cloud to develop an Ericsson Cloud RAN solution on Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) [1.] that offers integrated automation and orchestration and leverages AI/ML for additional communications service providers (CSP) benefits. The companies have successfully demonstrated the full implementation of the Ericsson vDU and vCU on GDC Edge and the solution is running live in the Ericsson Open Lab in Ottawa, Canada, with joint ambition for market development.
Note 1. GDC is a portfolio of fully managed hardware and software solutions which extends Google Cloud’s infrastructure and services to the edge and into your data centers.
Deploying Ericsson Cloud RAN on GDC Edge enables the delivery of a fully automated and very large-scale distributed cloud, resulting in an efficient, reliable, highly performant and secured software centric radio access network infrastructure. In this setup, the on-premises GDC Edge is managed using functions such as fleet management from the public cloud through a dedicated secure connection between on-prem hardware and the cloud, while also addressing sovereignty and privacy requirements of the CSP customers. This architecture ensures the clear path for CSPs toward the implementation of a fully hybrid cloud solution for RAN.
Cloud RAN comprises a mobile switching center, a BBU hotel and a remote radio head
C-RAN networks comprise three primary components:
- A BBU hotel. This is a centralized site that functions as a data or processing center. Individual units can stack together without direct linkage or interconnect to dynamically allocate resources based on network needs. Communication between units has high bandwidth and low latency.
- A remote radio unit (RRU) network. Also known as a remote radio head, an RRU is a traditional network that connects wireless devices to access points.
- A fronthaul or transport network. Also known as a mobile switching center, a fronthaul or transport network is the connection layer between a BBU and a set of RRUs that use optical fiber, cellular or mmWave communication.
Running Ericsson Cloud RAN on GDC Edge will enable CSPs to utilize Google Cloud Vertex AI, BigQuery and other cloud services, to improve the usability of the massive data sets being provided by Cloud RAN applications. This in turn, will open a number of opportunities for CSPs to control, inspect, configure, and optimize their RAN infrastructure.
Ericsson Cloud RAN provides CSPs additional choice for creating networks based on open standards and interfaces using multiple vendors. The Ericsson Cloud RAN solution is infrastructure agnostic, allowing RAN applications to be deployed on any infrastructure chosen by the CSP. Ericsson is continuously collaborating with ecosystem partners and adapting its Cloud RAN applications to work on different infrastructures and configurations.
To further a cloud-native automation approach to network workloads, Ericsson and Google Cloud are jointly enhancing the solution through the Linux Foundation open-source project Nephio (a Kubernetes-based automation platform for deploying and managing highly distributed, interconnected workloads such as 5G network functions), where we jointly drive standardization of critical functionality.
Mårten Lerner, Head of Product Line Cloud RAN, Ericsson, says: “This partnership enables us to deepen and expand our valuable collaboration with Google Cloud, and it opens new opportunities for operators to utilize the benefits of cloud-native solutions and automation. Ericsson remains committed to ensuring the adaptability of its Cloud RAN applications on diverse cloud infrastructures, offering operators enhanced flexibility and choice in deploying Cloud RAN as well as supporting the evolving hybrid cloud architectures together with Google Cloud.”
Gabriele Di Piazza, Senior Director, Telecom Products, Google Cloud, says:
“We’re proud to enable Ericsson Cloud RAN to run on Google Distributed Cloud Edge infrastructure, which includes access to our AI/ML capabilities as well as cloud-native automations. We’re delighted to recognize Ericsson as a distinguished Google Cloud Partner and look forward to a continued strong partnership in support of our mutual customers.”
Cloud RAN with Google Distributed Cloud Edge; Strategy: host network functions of other vendors on Google Cloud
Omdia and Ericsson on telco transitioning to cloud native network functions (CNFs) and 5G SA core networks
Ericsson in cooperation with the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program announced the launch of its 5G SA network for public research together with the Agriculture and Rural Communities (ARA) team at Iowa State University (ISU). Powered by Ericsson, the network is part of ARA’s multi-modal platform for wireless research, based on the ISU campus with coverage extending to local crop and livestock farms and parts of the city of Ames.
The Ericsson-powered 5G SA network will be used to support precision agriculture applications, along with other research initiatives, and is already connecting farm sites that previously had little to no broadband access. ARA is partnering with the ISU Department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering as well as the College of Agriculture of Life Sciences for initial precision agriculture research projects.
Ericsson and PAWR light up 5G network for rural agricultural research
Image Credit: Ericsson
“As we continue to unlock 5G’s full potential, we’re excited to support ARA’s cutting-edge research on precision agriculture, rural broadband, renewable energy, and public safety for smart and connected rural communities,” said Per Wahlen, Vice President and Head of Business Development, Ericsson North America.
Sample agriculture research will include using connected robots (PhenoBots) to collect plant phenotyping data with stereoscopic cameras generating 800 megabits per second worth of sensor data per camera. It will also include livestock monitoring with high-resolution cameras, as well as agriculture automation.
The Ericsson-powered network consists of a 5G core operating in SA mode and NR radios which operate in both mid-band and millimeter wave spectrum bands with a high aggregate throughput up to 3Gbps. The outdoor network will run 5G SA with mid and high band New Radio-Dual Connectivity (NR-DC) with a downlink exceeding 2.5Gbps in outdoor live testing. With ultra-low latency, increased capacity and coverage, and support for end-to-end network slicing, Ericsson’s 5G SA solutions ensure instant response times and enable new use cases.
ARA is part of the National Science Foundation-funded Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program that works to create wireless testbeds through public-private partnerships to accelerate the nation’s wireless ecosystem.
“As ARA aims to help close the gap between academic and industry research in the wireless and agricultural sectors, we’re excited to announce the Ericsson network component, which is open for joint opportunities for both academic and industry research endeavors,” said Hongwei Zhang, Principal Investigator of ARA and Director of the Center for Wireless, Communities and Innovation, Iowa State University.
The concept of the smart farm – like the smart city – made up part of the hype fodder for the initial 5G launch. Since 5G SA is considered ‘proper’ 5G the line seems to now be that it will be the required driving force behind all sorts of industries being revolutionised by high bandwidth and low latency mobile connectivity.
How large a commercial market applications like this represents for kit vendors like Ericsson in the near future remains to be seen, but if it does represent a teaser of how food can be grown better or more abundantly – as is presumably the end goal – we can think of much more frivolous use cases presented over the years.
These 5G SA networks my play an important role in the future of the U.S. agricultural ecosystem. ARA and Ericsson are in forward-leaning positions to support the realization of recently proposed bipartisan legislation surrounding the issue of broadband access to unserved rural farms, through applied research and innovative use case development to assist farmers and rural communities.
Danish digital infrastructure provider TDC NET, together with Ericsson, have launched the first 5G Standalone (5G SA) network in Denmark. The transition to high-performance 5G SA technology will enhance the regional 5G ecosystem, accelerate innovation across industries, and unlock exciting possibilities for consumers.
In September 2020, TDC NET went live with the first non-standalone (NSA) 5G network in Denmark, which worked alongside the existing 4G infrastructure provided by Ericsson.
Ericsson press release states: “This milestone signifies a monumental leap forward in connectivity, enabling transformative advancements and placing Denmark at the forefront of technological progress.”
“A 5G Standalone network provides lower latency, higher efficiency, better spectrum utilization, more reliable connectivity, and lower device battery consumption than other networks. It unlocks more use cases for consumers, critical IoT, enterprises and industrial automation. 5G SA also facilitates network slicing benefits for multiple customer segments, offering an infrastructure for businesses to enable, for instance, smart manufacturing and IoT-driven innovation, while giving consumers better and more consistent service experience. It is also a big step forward for communications service providers as it enables a more flexible approach to service creation and provision for subscribers.”
–>Those are all nice features but do any of them represent a monumental leap forward? 5G SA, aka true 5G (vs fake 5G=5G NSA=4G infrastructure/core with a 5G NR RAN) has yet to prove that in its limited global deployments. Where are the new 5G SA revenue streams?
Jakob Dirksen CTO of TDC NET, says: “We were the first to introduce 5G in Denmark and now we are taking the next big step by switching on 5G Standalone. This will offer consumers, enterprises and industries enhanced efficiency, safety, and a range of opportunities across everything from self-driving cars, remote work, healthcare, as well as mission-critical operations by authorities. In addition, 5G Standalone will also enable energy efficiency improvements thanks to more data being transmitted with the same amount of energy and faster access to content.”
One of the key benefits of 5G SA will be improved speed capabilities. Over a 5G SA network, TDC NET and Ericsson have already achieved an impressive 7Gbps downlink peak throughput in a live site environment that has been equipped with Ericsson Radio System products supporting millimeter wave and mid-band spectrum. Enabling New Radio Dual Connectivity (NR-DC) mode through Ericsson’s 5G Core and high modulation scheme have been key to this achievement.
A 5G trial at the Tour de France 2022 in Copenhagen, Denmark used Ericsson Massive MIMO radios on 5G TDD (time division duplex) spectrum. It delivered up to 13 times more data with the same energy consumption compared to LTE FDD (frequency division duplex).
Niclas Backlund, Country Manager for Ericsson Denmark, says: “With the 5G Standalone network, we are now able to accelerate the Danish 5G ecosystem and provide a world-class mobile network with a range of new opportunities for consumers and businesses by enabling slicing, and thereby providing service differentiation. By modernizing legacy networks and then upgrading to 5G, communication service providers can lower operating costs thanks to greater energy efficiency and thus reduce total cost of ownership. And, at the same time, they can future-proof their networks for anticipated higher capacity needs and offer customers value through new services and capabilities.”
In addition, 5G SA uses a dedicated 5G core network, which means that data transmission requires less signaling than with 5G NSA. This is because 5G SA devices do not need to switch between the 4G and 5G core networks, which can reduce latency and improve performance.
The 5G Standalone deployment in TDC´s commercial network is expected to contribute to the service provider’s roadmap towards Net Zero emissions target by 2030, says Ericsson. Also, the 5G SA network was said to signal major overall progress in TDC NET’s technological transformation as it adopts cloud-native software architecture, leading to fast and reliable service innovation for subscribers with service providers using TDC NET’s 5G network, while maintaining improved efficiency and network performance.
Omdia and Ericsson on telco transitioning to cloud native network functions (CNFs) and 5G SA core networks
According to Ericsson’s Mobility Report update, approximately 260 communications service providers (CSPs) have launched commercial 5G services. About 35 CSPs have launched 5G standalone (SA) networks. The Q2-2023 additions bring the global number of 5G subscriptions close to 1.3 billion.
India continues to lead the world in 5G subscription growth rate with more than seven million of the 175 million global subscriptions added between April and June (the second financial quarter – Q2) 2023 accounted for in the country.
China had the second highest country growth rate with more than five million 5G additions during Q2.
The United States was in third place with more than three million 5G subscription additions.
The four-page August 31 update is an addendum to the full edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, published in June 2023. It focuses on recent updates to the quarterly subscription and traffic data sections.
Other information in the Q2-2023 update includes:
- In Q2 2023, the number of mobile subscriptions totalled 8.3 billion, with a net addition of 40 million subscriptions during the quarter. The number of unique mobile subscribers is 6.1 billion.
- Global mobile subscription penetration was 105 percent.
- The number of mobile broadband subscriptions grew by about 100 million in the quarter, totalling 7.4 billion, a year-on-year increase of five percent. Mobile broadband now accounts for 88 percent of all mobile subscriptions.
- Mobile data traffic grew by 33 percent between Q2 2022 and Q2 2023.
- 4G subscriptions increased by 11 million, totalling about 5.2 billion and representing 62 percent of all mobile subscriptions.
- WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions declined by 85 million and GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions dropped by 59 million during the quarter. Other technologies fell by about two million.
Ericsson Mobility Report: 5G subscriptions in Q2 2022 are 690 million (vs. 8.3 billion total mobile users)
June 2022 Ericsson Mobility Report: 5G subscriptions increased by 70 million in Q1-2022 to reach 620 million
The top two global RAN equipment makers, Huawei and Ericsson, have announced the renewal of a multi-year global patent cross-licensing agreement, which enables each to use the other’s standardized (3GPP, ITU, IEEE, and IETF standards for 3G, 4G, and 5G cellular technologies) and patented technologies. The patent sharing agreement includes network infrastructure, as well as endpoint devices.
“We are delighted to reach a long-term global cross-licensing agreement with Ericsson,” said Alan Fan, Head of Huawei’s Intellectual Property Department. “As major contributors of standard essential patents (SEPs) for mobile communication, the companies recognize the value of each other’s intellectual property, and this agreement creates a stronger patent environment. It demonstrates the commitment both parties have forged that intellectual property should be properly respected and protected.”
“Both companies are major contributors to mobile communication standards and recognize the value of each other’s intellectual property. This agreement demonstrates the commitment of both parties that intellectual property should be respected and rewarded, and that leading technological innovations should be shared across the industry. A balanced approach to licensing ensures that the interests of both patent holders and implementers are served fairly, driving healthy, sustainable industry development for the benefit of consumers and enterprises everywhere.”
Over the past 20 years, Huawei has been a major contributor to mainstream ICT standards, including those for cellular, Wi-Fi, and multimedia codecs. In 2022, Huawei topped the European Patent Office’s applicant ranking for number of patent applications filed, with 4,505 applications.
“Our commitment to sharing leading technological innovations will drive healthy, sustainable industry development and provide consumers with more robust products and services,” added Fan.
Huawei is both a holder and implementer of SEPs and seeks to take a balanced approach to licensing. Through the signing of this agreement, it is both giving and receiving access to key technologies. Fan said, “This agreement is the result of intensive discussions that ensured the interests of both patent holders and implementers are served fairly.”
Christina Petersson, Ericsson’s chief IP officer said, “This agreement demonstrates the commitment of both parties that intellectual property should be respected and rewarded, and that leading technological innovations should be shared across the industry. A balanced approach to licensing ensures that the interests of both patent holders and implementers are served fairly.”
The last time the two companies extended a cross-licensing agreement was in 2016. Over the past few years, both companies have actively contributed to developing key mobile standards.
Earlier this year, the European Patent Office published the EPO Patent Index 2022: with 4,505 patents filed, Huawei was the top contributor, while Ericsson came in fifth with 1,827. Currently, according to the Financial Times, Huawei owns 20% of global patents which makes it the world’s largest 5G patent owner. Ericsson says they’ve been granted 60,000 patents.
Both Huawei and Ericsson are part of the Avanci patent pool, although the Chinese company is a recent addition following Avanci’s launch of a 5G vehicular programme earlier this month, which it says will “simplify the licensing of the cellular technologies used in next generation connected vehicles.”
Other Avanci patent licencees include Samsung, Philips, Panasonic and ZTE.
However, while Huawei and Ericsson have not engaged in active patent litigation, towards the end of last year Huawei demonstrated an intention to be more litigious over its patent portfolio. This included filing lawsuits against car manufacturer Stellantis over mobile phone patents, as well as launching a series of lawsuits over Wi-Fi 6 patents against Amazon, Netgear and AVM.
Around the same time, in the midst of a US FRAND trial, Ericsson and Apple signed a global patent licence agreement. This ended one of the largest disputes over implementation patents and SEPs in recent years, which spanned the US, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Colombia and Brazil.
Chinese companies’ patents awarded in the U.S. increased ~10% while U.S. patent grants declined ~7% in 2021
Ericsson and Vodafone Ireland have partnered to install a cutting-edge 5G Standalone Mobile Private Network (MPN) solution for the Irish rugby team to supply fast and reliable in-play data analysis ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in September.
Previously the team relied on standard WiFi across stadiums and training facilities both at home and away. Now giving instant feedback on team plays and tactics, the 5G Standalone MPN solution and artificial intelligence technology ensures faster download and upload speeds and lower latency, which can be utilised for real-time performance analysis and decisions on the pitch.
Using this reliable connectivity, up to eight high-resolution video streams are captured by multiple cameras and a 5G connected drone and then analysed in real-time to collate data on team performance. The technology helps to improve the communication between management, coaches and players and maximises the time on pitch where the smallest tweak to a running line or defensive position, can have a significant impact on the weekend’s game.
Vodafone Ireland and Ericsson have worked closely with the IRFU and their Head of Analytics and Innovation, Vinny Hammond and his analysis team of John Buckley, Alan Walsh and Jack Hannon. This collaboration has led to a clear understanding of the specific performance outcomes sought by such an elite sports team and has supported the design and installation of the Ericsson Private 5G solution, which now enables the management team, coaches and players to feel the real benefit of instant feedback to enhance the ability to make decisions quikcly.
The new solution has been tested at the Irish team’s High Performance Centre and will be brought to France in a bespoke 5G connected van for the World Cup in September.
Vodafone Ireland Network Director, Sheila Kavanagh says: “At Vodafone, we are so proud of our support for the Irish Rugby team, so we’re delighted to bring further value through the delivery of this cutting-edge technology solution. Performance analysis has experienced massive changes in the past couple of decades. What started with pen and paper-based methods for collecting notational data has evolved to using cutting-edge computer-based technologies and artificial intelligence to collect ever increasing amounts of real-time information. Distilling and delivering this data back to the team at top speed requires a reliable, secure and scalable connectivity solution.”
“This 5G MPN, drone and additional technology will support Vinny Hammond and his analytics team to quickly breakdown and organise unstructured data and present it back in a clear manner to other coaching staff and management – helping them understand the performance of the plays and overall team, without delay. It’s fantastic to see it in use in the HPC, but we’re also really excited to support the team with 5G connectivity throughout their time at the World Cup in France with our fully kitted Connected Van. Our 5G MPN technology is a demonstration of how technology and connectivity innovation can enhance the business of sport and the performance of teams, bringing added layers of data and analysis to coaches, management, and their players.”
IRFU Head of Analytics and Innovation, Vinny Hammond says: “So much of our roles revolve around moving large quantities of data so we can analyse performance to understand what is working and what is not. Vodafone’s 5G MPN stretches the boundaries of what we can do in terms of how quickly we can analyse multiple high-resolution cameras and drone footage which ultimately informs our strategic decision making. The work John and Alan have done on this project in conjunction with Vodafone and Ericson has enabled us to push new boundaries at this years RWC. Being on our own 5G network also gives us that level of security and reliability that we really need, and we’ll have the added benefit of that connectivity with our 5G Connected Van, linking back to our High Performance centre, to reduce reliance on third party connectivity.”
John Griffin, Head of Ericsson Ireland, says: “5G is the ultimate platform of future innovation and our successful partnership with Vodafone continues to ensure new organisations like the IRFU can benefit from the low latency, high bandwidth, and secure connectivity of a 5G standalone private network. Our global leadership in 5G technology and accelerated software availability mean the IRFU will be one step ahead of their competitors on and off the field, giving them the best chance of success at an elite level of performance and revolutionizing the future of a key function within the sports industry.”
BT and Ericsson have successfully demonstrated 5G transmission using a wideband FDD (frequency division duplex) radio carrier (over 20 MHz) within a sub-3 GHz spectrum band. According to BT and Ericsson, this accomplishment is a major advancement in the progress of 5G networks, with implications that will greatly impact network capacity and performance.. The trial used existing Ericsson commercial hardware, including Baseband 6648 and Radio 4419. The software feature ‘Large Bandwidth Support Low-Band’ was activated to facilitate the testing, and Handsets powered by MediaTek Dimensity chips, specifically the MediaTek M80 Release-16 modem.
Source: BT Group
The trial was conducted on BT’s live network (EE brand name) in Bristol and Potters Bar, UK. It showcased the benefits of configuring a wide carrier bandwidth of 50 MHz (50 MHz downlink + 50 MHz uplink) within the 2.6 GHz band, along with downlink aggregation using two TDD (time division duplex) carriers in the 3.5 GHz band. This configuration led to a capacity uplift of over three times compared to a single FDD carrier. According to the joint statement, the trial also evaluated an intermediate carrier bandwidth of 30 MHz.
This result is particularly significant for the uplink in 5G Standalone (5G SA) networks. According to BT, currently, 5G SA relies on a single carrier for the uplink, but this trial demonstrates the potential to significantly boost uplink capacity using a wider carrier bandwidth. The technology partners stated that enabling 5G expansion in FDD bands is a crucial step in the rollout of EE’s 5G SA network. 5G SA is expected to offer superior experiences for consumers and businesses, meeting the increasing demand for data-driven applications like cloud gaming, virtual reality (VR), and emerging edge technologies. This achievement has the potential to enable higher capacity, improved network performance, and enhanced user experiences.
Greg McCall, Chief Networks Officer, BT Group, commented: “This breakthrough is the latest example of our commitment to maximizing the full potential of 5G for our customers. As network quality and accessibility improve, so too will innovation and the 5G services ecosystem. Demonstrating new network capabilities such as those announced today is critical to achieving this goal, and also paves the way to ensuring that 5G SA delivers new possibilities for our customers.”
Evangelia Tzifa, Chief Technology Officer, Networks & Managed Services, for Ericsson UK and Ireland said: “This is a great step forward for the deployment of 5G Standalone for EE in the UK. Ericsson innovative software capabilities such as large bandwidths for NR FDD as well as NR Carrier Aggregation enable a solid foundation for improved end user experience and network performance. This is a fundamental link for business success and the evolution to next-generation connectivity across the country.”
Dr. Ho-Chi Hwang, General Manager of Wireless Communication Systems and Partnerships at MediaTek, said: “This remarkable achievement of boosting uplink capacity is a fundamental step for the evolution from 5G Non-Standalone to 5G Standalone networks. By supporting an uplink connection in a single FDD carrier with a wider bandwidth, MediaTek Dimensity 5G chipsets already meet the surging demand for uplink data in a new era of mobile applications”.
Ericsson and O2 Telefónica say they have conducted the first demonstration of 5G Cloud RAN (Radio Access Network) [1.] technology in Europe. The Proof of Concept (PoC) deployment at O2 Telefónica’s Wayra innovation hub in Munich utilized a centralized control unit (CU) and harnessed the power of mmWave frequency to achieve an impressive end-to-end speed of more than 4 Gbit/s. The companies validated the use of Cloud RAN for fixed wireless access (FWA), as well as enterprise and industrial use cases.
One FWA case is “Data Shower,” a new concept in the automotive industry that enables the efficient deployment of software updates to vehicles in production lines by using mmWave technology for high-bandwidth transfer.
Note 1. A cloud radio access network (Cloud RAN) is a centralized, cloud computing-based architecture for radio access networks. It enables large-scale deployment, collaborative radio technology support and real-time virtualization capabilities.
Ericsson Cloud RAN is a cloud-native software solution handling compute functionality in the RAN. Cloud RAN is a viable option for communications service providers to have increased flexibility, faster delivery of services, and greater scalability in networks. Ericsson Cloud RAN is enhanced with support for 5G mid-band and with Cloud RAN for high performance in combined footprint. More information is below.
By implementing Ericsson’s cloud-native software solution for 5G Cloud RAN, O2 Telefónica in Germany will experience significant gains in flexibility, service delivery and improved network operations. This initiative also sets the stage for other communication service providers (CSPs) to leverage network automation and RAN programmability, thereby enhancing their overall network flexibility, scalability, and simplification.
Daniel Leimbach, Head of Customer Unit Western Europe at Ericsson, says: “The partnership between Ericsson and O2 Telefónica demonstrates our commitment to achieving significant breakthroughs on our path to build the networks of the future. It is a first for both companies in Europe and shows the potential of Cloud RAN for high performance use cases. It builds upon our work with the cloud-native 5G core we have deployed in O2 Telefónica Germany, enabling a full end-to-end cloud native network. We are very proud to be doing this together with O2 Telefónica.”
Mallik Rao, Chief Technology & Information Officer of O2 Telefónica, says: ” O2 Telefónica is a pioneer in deploying new network technologies such as Cloud RAN. With the introduction of a cloud-based, standardized architecture, we are able to respond quickly to customer needs, introduce new products and services even more flexibly and scale our O2 network better. With Cloud RAN, we combine the benefits of open interfaces with the expertise and product quality of European network equipment supplier Ericsson, whose technology we already use for our high-performance 5G core network.”
Cloud-native deployment plays a pivotal role in the transformation of the telecommunications industry, and the integration of cloud-native architecture into the radio access network (RAN) presents an exceptional opportunity to foster innovation and enhance network efficiency. By virtualizing the RAN and adopting a cloud-native, standardized architecture, O2 Telefónica will gain the ability to respond rapidly to customer needs, introduce new products and services with greater flexibility and agility, and realize benefits such as faster service delivery, improved scalability and enhanced cost efficiency.
Ericsson’s commitment to advancing telecommunications networks is underscored by this collaboration and builds upon the company’s successful Cloud RAN deployments with other leading CSPs in North America and Australia.
The incorporation of Cloud RAN extends the foundation of the ongoing network cloudification efforts by Ericsson and O2 Telefónica in Germany.
Technology overview: Benefits:
Ericsson 5G Cloud RAN, a cloud-native software solution, effectively handles compute functionality in the RAN, offering a range of benefits for CSPs, including the advantage of implementing common operational systems and practices, simplifying deployment and life cycle management of resources for enhanced efficiency. By centralizing processing and management functions, Cloud RAN transforms traditional network architecture to improve resource allocation, scalability and network management. This innovation empowers mobile network operators to dynamically allocate resources, optimizing performance and ensuring a seamless user experience.
Millimeter Wave (mmWave) frequency operates in the high-frequency range, typically above 24 gigahertz (GHz). This spectrum offers immense bandwidth potential, enabling data transfer at unprecedented speeds. By leveraging mmWave, telecommunications companies can deliver ultra-fast internet connections, supporting a wide range of applications such as 5G networks, virtual reality, augmented reality, and high-definition video streaming. With its ability to transmit vast amounts of data over short distances, mmWave frequency paves the way for the realization of futuristic technologies that demand low latency and exceptional performance.
Vodafone is rolling out Ericsson’s new compact antenna to bring greater 5G capacity, coverage and performance to locations across the U.K. The Ericsson AIR 3218 combines a radio unit and antenna in a single unit. It can also transmit mobile data over all of the frequencies that Vodafone currently uses in the U.K., without needing additional antenna units, as was the case for previous models.
The combined multiband, Massive MIMO design makes it easier for the operator to add more capacity to a mast without increasing its footprint. It’s also easier to mount on rooftops, towers, walls and poles.
“5G is the UK’s digital future, but we should never underestimate how difficult it is to deliver a future-proofed network at scale across the length and breadth of the UK. Working in partnership with Ericsson, we are constantly exploring new ways to accelerate this transformation, and this is another example of where innovation is delivered through collaboration,” said Ker Anderson, head of Radio and Performance at Vodafone UK, in a statement.
Ericsson noted that the Interleaved AIR 3218 is powered by the latest Ericsson Silicon technology. It also uses beam-through technology where an arbitrary active antenna can be placed behind the passive antenna, reducing the overall footprint in terms of size, weight and wind load.
So far, they’ve calculated a 30% reduction in site acquisition and build time based on results from the first five sites where deployment has already been completed. The AIR 3218 is expected to be deployed across 50 sites within the Vodafone UK network in 2023.
Orange Business said that it has carried out tests of a new 5G service called “Mobile Private Network hybrid“at its office in Arcueil (Ile-de-France region). The telco claims the hybrid private network has several applications and is able to connect industrial equipment, tablets and autonomous vehicles, among other end points. It cited the example of ports as an area particularly suitable for hybrid network deployments.
Orange said it is “actively investing in the construction” of hybrid 5G networks in France. Its two units have been “constantly innovating to continue to develop services and use [cases],” the company added.
The new 5G service has been tested with a router from Ericsson owned Cradlepoint which is connected to both networks simultaneously and assigns data flows to the appropriate network based on predefined use cases and the application being used. The Cradlepoint router supports 5G SA and network slicing technology for business premises, with a hardened version available for industrial settings.
The test project hosted two use cases in two network slices, running on a laptop (“behind the router”): transmission of a video feed to the cloud on the public network to support a remote assistance use case, and an edge-based supervision application for an industrial process where all the data circulated on the private network. “The separation of data flows is complete from the application on the terminal to the core network.”
(Source: l_martinez / Alamy Stock Photo)
The network is operated by Orange in full and does not require the use of multiple SIM cards. Companies can use the solution for both critical and non-critical applications, with data flows isolated from the application on the terminal all the way to the core, and service quality adapted to each application. The company says it relies on local break-out technology, which allows for local routing of data flows, to offer stable low latencies. Orange also says the private network guarantees performance and offers higher data security than the public network.
Orange is one of few European operators that have started rolling out 5G SA networks, it has not yet officially launched one in France. In March, it announced it would start offering 5G SA in a handful of Spanish cities later this year. The telco will rely on Ericsson’s core technology, which will also be used in Belgium, Luxembourg and Poland.