Bharti Airtel, Ericsson conduct India’s first rural 5G trial; Ericsson – India Q & A

On October 5th Bharti Airtel said it has conducted India’s first rural 5G trial with Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson. The demonstration took place in Bhaipur Bramanan village on the outskirts of Delhi/NCR using 5G trial spectrum allocated by India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

“The trial showcases the massive potential offered by 5G towards bridging the digital divide by enabling access to high speed broadband through solutions such as enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services,” the companies said in a joint statement.

The trial demonstrated over 200Mbps throughput on 3GPP-compliant 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) device located more than 10km from the site.

The trial also showcased that a commercially available 3GPP-based 5G smartphone could connect to the test network and record over 100Mbps speeds at a distance of more than 10km from the site.

The 5G site was powered by Ericsson’s 3GPP-compliant 5G radio. The trial was carried out by utilizing the allocated mid-band trial spectrum in 3500MHz band and existing FDD spectrum band.

“Having demonstrated India’s first 5G network and also the first 5G cloud gaming experience, Airtel is proud to have also conducted the nation’s first 5G trial in a rural geography. 5G will be a transformational technology when it comes to delivering broadband coverage to the last mile through use cases like FWA and contribute to a more inclusive digital economy,” said Randeep Singh Sekhon, Airtel CTO.

“The technology milestone of extended coverage achieved by Ericsson and Airtel as part of the ongoing 5G trial in India is even more significant since it demonstrates how 5G can ‘connect the unconnected’ in India, enable faster 5G rollout and truly help India realize its ‘Digital India’ vision,” added Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of Ericsson South east Asia, Oceania and India.

According to an Ericsson study, on average, a 10% increase in the Mobile Broadband adoption ratio causes a 0.8% increase in GDP.

Airtel has previously demonstrated cloud gaming in a 5G environment, as part of its 5G trials in Gurgaon’s Manesar. It had used the mid-band spectrum provided by the DoT for this purpose.  The Sunil Mittal-led telco has also been rallying to ensure that any new 5G handset sold in India must support all existing bands in India for 5G, including the mmWave bands.

Earlier this year, Airtel successfully demonstrated 5G services over a live 4G-LTE network in Hyderabad, marking an industry first. It is also conducting 5G trials in multiple cities across India and validating technologies and use cases through the trial spectrum allotted by the DoT . Airtel has partnered with Ericsson and Nokia for these trials.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Q and A with Nunzio Mirtillo, head of Ericsson (Southeast Asia, Ocea­nia and India):

How has been the market performing for Ericsson this year?

We have been doing well in India and increasing our market share constantly. Over the past three/four years, we have been increasing our market share in India and we have kept our market share when the merger with Vodafone and Idea happened. When it comes to Bharti, we have increased market share substantially in the last few years, both on core and on radio, showing two things – one, our willingness to stay and increase our presence in India, and two, that we are competitive. Because you can be willing to do something but then you also need to be competitive in terms of technology, in terms of TCO and we have been showing that. And on top of that we have been delivering quite a good quality of service to our customers because that is ultimately what counts the most.

Have your telco partners been spending on network expansion aggressively?

We know the situation of Vodafone Idea, and I believe they have a great chance to do well in India and I think they will. And now with the latest from the government, I hope they will have a nice restart. When it comes to Jio we are not a relevant partner with Jio when it comes to the radio business, although we work with Jio. I think they have been also doing their job and their investment in a nice way. But Bharti has accelerated quite a lot in the last few years, and you can see the result in their market evaluation and also in terms of subscriber acquisition, ARPU increase, and we have been part of that journey, partnering with them as well. Showing that India is a market where if you do invest, you provide network quality and you have the right strategy and the right focus, the market is there. And if you do well, you will get the payback for that.

How do you see this whole 5G story panning out in the Indian market?

The sooner the better for the country actually. As everyone says in Q1, the spectrum will be made available from the government to the operators. So, I really hope so. India has been a bit sleepy for a while but then in the last three, four years it really did catch up quite a lot on 4G. So now the country should not lose momentum.

Secondly, the government should make available at least between 80 to 100 megahertz of 3.5GHz or the mid-band to the existing operators and also make sure that they auction millimeter wave spectrum which is a 400 megahertz which will be very much needed going forward to match the tremendous demand of mobile broadband that will be there in the future. And also, you also need to take care of the transport network, so we also need enough spectrum on the E band for connecting the 5G networks.

That’s what we believe and that’s the basic and India cannot, in my view, go below basic because there’s the Digital Highway for the country, it’s not only kind of business as such. It’s really a vital infrastructure for the future of India. And they also need to make sure that they deliver that spectrum at a reasonable price because otherwise they will impact from the start the ones that are supposed to invest.

I think they will be reasonable, because I have seen a lot of good things in India in the last few years with the tremendous push shown on Digital India, Make in India, and it’s all good programs.

References:

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/airtel-ericsson-conduct-indias-first-rural-5g-trial/86776922

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/ettelecom-interviews-ericssons-nunzio-mirtillo-on-telecom-relief-package-vodafone-idea-future-5g-openran-and-satcom/86910717

Ericsson IoT Accelerator Cloud Connect to connect cellular IoT devices to AWS

Ericsson has launched IoT Accelerator Cloud Connect to make it easier for enterprises using Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator platform to cellular devices to connect to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) server securely. According to Ericsson, Cloud Connect shifts the complex encryption required for secure IoT connectivity away from the device and onto the edge of the cellular network.

With an estimated five billion cellular IoT devices to be in use by the end of 2026, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report (June 2021), enterprises are increasingly outsourcing IoT device authentication and data management to public cloud providers such as AWS.

Enterprises on Ericsson IoT Accelerator-managing cellular devices such as sensors, meters, or tracking devices now have a much simpler way to connect to the already secure AWS server through Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator Cloud Connect, which moves complex encryption from the device to the edge of the cellular network.

Quotes from companies across multiple industry sectors:

Steve Dunn, CEO and Co-Founder at Digital Keys, a smart IoT security company, says: “Our cellular connected smartlocks with digital keys application are used for banks, hotels, universities, office buildings, shared labs, and apartments. Every smartlock has a SIM card that needs to connect to the cellular networks and the AWS cloud securely. It was a smooth process with Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator Cloud Connect.”

Communication service providers (CSPs) play a crucial role in the IoT ecosystem, providing global cellular connectivity using Ericsson IoT Accelerator. With more than 35 global CSPs already on Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator, enterprises of any size can manage the connectivity of their devices worldwide. It is now even easier to connect to AWS IoT Core.

Cristoff Martin, Chief Marketing Officer, Telenor Connexion, says: “This capability, integrated with our IoT Cloud service also developed together with AWS, will allow even more efficient development and operation of new connected solutions taking benefit of network technologies like Narrowband-IoT and the superior security capabilities of mobile networks in general.”

Jan Willem Smeenk, Chief Architect at SODAQ, a leading company in solar-powered asset tracking that specializes in scalable and efficient IoT hardware and software to empower businesses, says: “It is costly and complicated to connect our smart asset trackers securely, but with Ericsson as a key partner, we were able to order SIM cards from the operator on IoT Accelerator, insert them into our device with no additional encryption or certificate management required. Then, using Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator Cloud Connect, the device is authorized and automatically provisioned to the target AWS destination. It was simple and can serve our customers of any scale and size.”

Connecting to AWS IoT Core requires each connected device to use Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption for all communications. With Cloud Connect, the IoT Accelerator service offers a plug-and-play alternative. In this, enterprises benefit from simple activation of devices that tunnel to the edge of the cellular infrastructure before automatically self-provisioning to AWS and securely connecting via Cloud Connect generated encryption and keys.

Rauno Jokelainen, Chief Technology Officer at UROS Group, a leading company in digital water services, says: “We see high value with the use of Cloud Connect in the UROS Sense Liquid Quality as a Service solution to provide real-time water quality detection to the municipalities and enterprises around the world in an easily deployable manner. With this solution, we can bring the peace of mind to the CIOs of the municipalities that their water networks are monitored in a secure manner.”

With Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator Cloud Connect, devices with unencrypted yet privately secured communications over cellular network leveraging Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) or narrowband User Data Protocols (UDP) – such as Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) – can connect seamlessly to AWS IoT Core, resulting in significantly lower power and data consumption.

Initial results show that Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator Cloud Connect enables low-powered devices to reduce mobile data by up to 95 percent and extend battery life by up to 50 percent by removing the need to run public end-to-end internet encryption.

Michael MacKenzie, General Manager, AWS IoT Connectivity & Control, says: “As enterprises connect more IoT devices to the public cloud, they want an easy and secure way to ingest IoT device data to AWS. Simple solutions like Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator Cloud Connect give enterprises flexibility by leveraging AWS IoT to easily manage and authorize devices, use zero touch provisioning, and ensure data is encrypted and secure.”

Kyle Okamoto, General Manager IoT, Ericsson, says: “Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator Cloud Connect removes barriers for enterprises to connect their IoT devices to numerous public clouds and to optimize the IoT data management infrastructure offered by providers like AWS. This means a faster time to market for enterprise devices and products. We are excited to offer this service to our IoT Accelerator community of over 7,000 enterprises globally.”

RELATED LINKS:

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Separately, Ericsson is cutting hundreds of jobs in China after losing market share during the recent awards of 5G contracts, according to Light Reading.

“Layoffs will happen by the end of this year as Ericsson merges three separate customer units in China into one. Until now, it has maintained a unit for each of China’s big mobile operators – China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom – but the restructuring will create a single mainland China customer unit catering to them all.”

Ericsson’s recent loss of market share has left it with a lower volume of 5G business to serve. Its move is aimed at rebalancing sales and costs so that it remains competitive on price.

Employees in China were briefed on the plans at an internal company meeting earlier today, where Chris Houghton, Ericsson’s head of market area for northeast Asia, said: “I sincerely regret that we now need to make changes to our great team, in order to reflect Ericsson’s changing market share position in China. We are committed to China and delivering value to our customers with our leading technology and solutions.”

The restructuring comes weeks after China Mobile gave Ericsson just 2% of the 700MHz bid on top of its existing share in 2.6GHz. This phase-two allocation in 5G is down from about 11% last year.

Ericsson has also picked up only a 3% share of the phase-two 5G work for China Telecom and China Unicom, which have joined forces to build a 5G network.

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2021/9/ericsson-iot-cloud-connect-connects-iot-devices-to-aws

https://www.lightreading.com/5g/ericsson-to-cut-hundreds-of-jobs-in-china-after-5g-setbacks/d/d-id/772358?

Ericsson powers Singtel 5G SA core network; lightest and smallest Massive MIMO radio

Ericsson is the vendor of choice for Singtel’s 5G SA network with 5G radio access products and cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core network solutions.

The Ericsson product range will deliver high-quality connectivity for outdoor coverage in densely populated areas and help drive strong indoor-mall coverage across the city-state. The Covid-19 pandemic has fueled the need for better connectivity indoors, due to the numerous travel and lock-down restrictions.

According to the May 2021 ConsumerLab report – Five Ways to a Better 5G – indoor 5G coverage at public places has become two times more important than mobile data speed in delivering satisfactory 5G experiences for consumers in Singapore.

In addition, Ericsson’s solutions for 5G SA will provide super-fast response times and faster access to higher data rates that are required by cloud gaming, immersive media and vehicles or robot control. This connectivity will also help drive the future-readiness of Singtel’s network, creating new business opportunities.

Mark Chong, Group Chief Technology Officer, Singtel, says: “We are pleased to partner Ericsson in our 5G journey. Together, we launched Singapore’s first 5G standalone network and achieved the fastest 5G speeds this year. 5G is a game changer that will drive greater innovation, and in turn strengthen Singapore’s position as a leading digital hub. We look forward to bringing to life the full benefits 5G has to offer to enterprises and consumers in collaboration with ecosystem partners.”

To nurture a growing and vibrant local 5G ecosystem, Ericsson and Singtel have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with several global industry partners to develop advanced 5G enterprise solutions in Singapore. The MoU will utilize test facilities and capabilities to innovate solutions and scale them for global deployment. The partners are ABB, Axis Communications, Bosch, Bosch Rexroth, Cradlepoint, DHL, Hexagon, PTC and Rohde & Schwarz.

Martin Wiktorin, Head of Ericsson Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines, says: “5G SA will allow consumers in Singapore to experience the full benefits of 5G connectivity and also enable businesses across industries to reap the benefits of enhanced mobility, flexibility, reliability and security. As Singtel’s long-standing partner, we are proud to support the roll-out of one of the first 5G SA networks in the world. As a global ICT leader, we have already accumulated a wealth of technology expertise through the deployment close to 100 live 5G networks worldwide.”

For the past 30 years, Ericsson and Singtel have achieved multiple milestones together in Singapore. This partnership includes leading the way in 5G in the city-state – achieving Singapore’s fastest 5G speeds, the launch of Singtel’s GENIE, the world’s first portable 5G-in-a-box platform powered by Ericsson to enable enterprises to experience 5G’s capabilities; and the establishment of 5G Garage, the country’s first live 5G facility to drive 5G solutions for enterprises in collaboration with Singtel and Singapore Polytechnic.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Separately, Ericsson has released the latest addition to its Massive MIMO portfolio – the ultra-lightweight antenna-integrated radio AIR 3268 – for easier and efficient 5G mid-band deployments in dense urban and suburban areas.

At 12 kg (26lb) and 23 liters, AIR 3268 is the lightest and smallest Massive MIMO radio in the industry. With 200W output power, 32 transceivers and passive cooling, the radio weighs about 40 percent less than the earlier generation, making installations easy not only on towers and rooftops, but also on poles and walls.

The radio will help to accelerate 5G mid-band deployment for communications service providers seeking to boost capacity, coverage, speeds and mobile experiences for their subscribers.

Ericsson’s latest radio is 10 percent more energy-efficient than the earlier generation, lowering the total added power consumption when introducing 5G on mid-band. It also supports Ericsson’s unique Massive MIMO architecture and Uplink Booster capabilities that deliver leading network performance.

The AIR 3268 is about 8 kilograms lighter than its predecessor and could threaten the recent efforts by Nokia, Ericsson’s Finnish rival, to seize the leadership position in 5G radios. In June, after a 5G refresh, Nokia began advertising a 5G “massive MIMO” radio unit that included 32 transmitters and 32 receivers (the so-called 32T32R configuration) and weighed 17 kilograms.  However, Ericsson’s 12-kilogram base station falls into exact the same 32T32R category, and a 5-kilogram difference is potentially very significant.

Heavy base station equipment puts stress on masts, brackets and other supporting infrastructure. Massive MIMO units usually need to be installed at the edge of a rooftop to get the full benefits of beamforming, says Gabriel Brown, a principal analyst with Heavy Reading (a sister company of Light Reading).

Ericsson has developed AIR 3268 in partnership with BT to address 5G challenges. Through the development process, the ultra-lightweight radio has been designed for 5G mid-band Massive MIMO performance to deliver the benefits of deployment simplicity and improved energy efficiency.

Greg McCall, Managing Director of Service Platforms, BT Group, says: “The 3.5 GHz band and Massive MIMO technology are important to our 5G network strategy to deliver the best customer experience in urban areas. We continue to add capacity within our market-leading 5G coverage, but to maximize our ability to deploy this technology, we need to minimize the burden on our site infrastructure.”

He adds: BT is pleased to be working with Ericsson on this product, which is less than half the size and weight of our current solution, reducing wind loading on existing sites and providing potential for adding 3.5 GHz Massive MIMO in new locations. The reduced power consumption will help BT deliver on our sustainability ambition.”

David Hammarwall, Head of Product Line Radio, Ericsson, says: “We continue to revolutionize Massive MIMO with ultra-lightweight radios that allow easier site upgrades and more seamless 5G mid-band deployments. AIR 3268 widens the options for the radio site, allowing service providers to boost their networks and deliver faster 5G speeds and response times. It is also energy-efficient, which is important to us and our customers.”

With its size and weight, AIR 3268 will simplify upgrades and new site acquisitions even in locations where footprint may prove challenging. The new radio also supports Ericsson’s mini bracket, providing lower total weight and easier installations.

AIR 3268 joins the family of ultra-lightweight radios launched in February this year. Like the rest of the company’s Massive MIMO radios, it is designed with Ericsson Silicon, providing real-time channel estimation and ultra-precise beamforming that improves coverage and user experience.

Ericsson also offers optimized site solutions with integrated transport for dense urban areas as part of its comprehensive transport and site solutions portfolio.

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2/2021/9/singtel-enters-5g-standalone-era-powered-by-ericsson

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2021/9/ericsson-launches-ultra-lightweight-air-3268-radio

Ericsson and Singtel drive high-end 5G connectivity to benefit Singapore

Ericsson 5G

Ericsson 5G RAN

Ericsson 5G Core

Ericsson Charging

Ericsson Cloud Native Infrastructure (CNIS)

Ericsson and Vodafone deploy new energy-efficient, light 5G radio in London

This week, Ericsson installed a new antenna-integrated radio solution (AIR 3227) on the roof of Speechmark, Vodafone UK’s central London office that, according to the telecom vendor, reduced the site’s daily network energy consumption by an average of 43% in direct comparison to previous generations of radio technology, and as much as 55% at off-peak times.

Designed for future-proof and sustainable networks, Ericsson’s new radio is 51 percent lighter than existing radio’s [1.] and its more compact design and improved energy management features will help to optimize overall site footprint, making 5G rollout and 4G upgrades faster and easier.

Note 1. The comparison is with the 64TR antenna units from Ericsson that Vodafone has been rolling out so far, which are very heavy (about 60 kilos) and less energy efficient, noted Vodafone UK’s Head of Performance and Radio, Ker Anderson, at a media briefing earlier this week.

“Vodafone is looking for ways to deploy 5G in a more energy-efficient way. When we started rolling out 5G we were using a 64-by-64 [64TR] panel from Ericsson and it’s close to 60 kilos in weight and burns electricity for fun,” noted Anderson, who added that the new AIR 3227 unit, while on paper having half the capacity of the 64TR units, “performs just as well… two years of technology evolution means we can now get the same performance from a 32-by-32 that we got with the first generation 64-by-64. Plus, they’re half the weight, and we’ve got a 43% energy reduction. So it’s been a real godsend for us for this product to come along and it’s the right thing for us to deploy – it’s cheaper, it’s faster, burns less electricity and the performance is really, really good,” Anderson said.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

1,500 of the new energy efficient Ericsson radios will be deployed across Vodafone’s network by April 2022, helping to reduce Vodafone’s forecasted energy consumption of its future 5G network and support a sustainable and responsible 5G rollout.

Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer, Vodafone UK, says: “Our strategy is simple; turn off anything we don’t need, replace legacy equipment with up-to-date alternatives and use the most energy efficient options available. The success of this trial allows us to explore new ways we can more effectively manage the energy consumption of our network with our partner Ericsson. There is no silver bullet to manage our network energy consumption – it is about putting sustainability at the heart of every decision and adding up all the small gains to make a material difference.”

Björn Odenhammar, Chief Technology Officer, Networks and Managed Services, Ericsson UK and Ireland, says: “Building on the success of an award-winning 5G network in London, it is another fantastic achievement for Vodafone and Ericsson to reduce network energy consumption by a daily average of 43 percent. Sustainability is central to Ericsson’s purpose and our new radio will help Vodafone to reduce network energy consumption, simplify network rollout and efficiently manage the expected growth in data traffic of both current and future 5G networks. Together we are building the 5G network of the future – one that delivers the highest possible performance with improved resource efficiency and low environmental impacts.”

Ericsson and Vodafone UK first launched commercial 5G services in 2019. The strong working partnership was recognised for a high performing best-in-class 5G network in London in 2020. In June 2021, it was announced that Ericsson will be supporting Vodafone’s entire cloud-native 5G Core Standalone for packet core applications – a critical milestone to deliver 5G Standalone connectivity services.

The two companies have also been collaborating to reduce the environmental impact of site upgrades and speed up network deployment through the use of drones and Ericsson’s Intelligent Site Engineering service.

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/3/2021/ericsson-and-vodafone-halve-network-energy-consumption-in-breakthrough-5g-trial

https://www.telecomtv.com/content/sustainability/vodafone-uk-switches-to-fresher-air-for-its-5g-rollout-42308/

https://www.rcrwireless.com/20210903/5g/ericsson-and-vodafone-5g-trial-cuts-network-energy-consumption-in-half

 

 

Ericsson Consumer Lab: Pandemic-driven online adoption habits to be future norm

  • Ericsson released its largest consumer study to date, representing the opinions of 2.3 billion consumers across 31 markets
  • On average, consumers will add 2.5 new services to their online activities by 2025
  • Consumers’ time spent online is set to increase by ten hours per week on average by 2025

Called The Future Urban Reality, the Ericsson ConsumerLab report is Ericsson’s largest consumer study to date. It reveals key insights about what consumers believe will happen beyond the pandemic to the year 2025.

Representing the equivalent opinions of 2.3 billion consumers across 31 markets worldwide, the report predicts that consumers will not only continue to manage routine activities – such as remote work, e-learning, e-health and online grocery shopping – online but will also add an average of 2.5 new services. The report predicts that consumers will instead prioritize their leisure time to travel more, practice mindful living and spend time with friends and family.

As a result of increased online activities, consumers are predicted to spend, on average, an extra ten hours per week online when they enter the next normal. This move is also expected to close the gap between moderate and advanced online users, with the more moderate online users having introduced more online services in their daily life over the course of the pandemic.

Zeynep Ahmet, Senior Researcher, ConsumerLab, Ericsson Research, says: “Throughout the pandemic, information and communication technologies (ICT) have become the key means for consumers to manage many aspects in their everyday lives. Our latest findings suggest that this will continue well into the ‘next normal’ and beyond. This trend can support consumers to prioritize more of the important things in life, whether that is spending more time with loved ones or leading a healthier lifestyle. As an enabler of new online habits, it is clear that both mobile networks and digital inclusion efforts will play a crucial role in building tomorrow’s resilient, inclusive and equal societies.”

Key findings from the report:

  • Anything routine will happen online by 2025: one in two consumers expect to use e-learning for upskilling. More than half of consumers globally believe all their entertainment activities will be online. More than one-third of consumers will order their groceries mainly online going forward.
  • 64 percent of consumers expect heightened stress-levels within society: more than three-in-five consumers believe that it will be necessary to juggle multiple jobs to maintain a decent income. At the same time, seven-in-ten consumers expect to lead healthier lives.
  • Convenience will come at the cost of privacy: while 75 percent of consumers predict that life will be steered by convenience in 2025, seven-in-ten also expect to pay more attention to their online security and privacy.
  • Local shopping will lead the way: driven partly by environmental concerns, half of consumers globally expect to shop for more locally made products and produce as a new future norm.
  • Half of consumers express a concern for climate change, yet 67 percent are looking to increase their leisure travel going forward: while most consumers believe that more sustainable travel options should be made accessible, only one in three indicate that they will refrain from flying when traveling for leisure in the future.
  • Time spent online will increase by an average of  10 hours per week by 2025: the dependence on online platforms is expected to continue beyond the pandemic, with consumers predicting that they will add 2.5 more services on average to their daily online activities by 2025. This reiterates the importance of digital inclusion in ensuring an equal and resilient ‘next normal.’

Read the Ericsson Consumerlab Future Urban Reality report

Ericsson & MediaTek near 500 Mbps upload in mmWave carrier aggregation tests

Ericsson announced a new upload speed record with 5G on mmWave spectrum – double the current upload speeds and the fastest recorded to date.

In a four-component carrier uplink aggregation tests with MediaTek, a peak throughput rate of 495 Mbps was achieved. This included 425 Mbps on 5G New Radio (5G RAN) test and a 70 Mbps on 4G-LTE test.

The demo performed in June used pre-commercial software on a device containing a MediaTek M80 5G chipset. The lab tests used Ericsson RAN Compute baseband 6648 with the AIR 5331 millimeter wave radio. Four carriers of 100 MHz each in the 39 GHz band were used for non-standalone 5G, along with 20 MHz in the 1,900 MHz band for LTE (more in Tech Details below).

Ericsson said the test of uplink carrier aggregation is the first of its kind, as the industry previously focused more on boosting download speeds. The increased adoption in the past year of home working and schooling has driven the use of applications like videoconferencing that require also fast upload speeds.

Upload speed dictates how quickly data is sent from the computer or handheld device to the internet. This includes uploading files, such as photos and videos to social media or collaborative worksites. Upload speeds are also crucial to the image and sound quality of video conferencing. Strong uplink means less or even none of those frozen screens, or broken audio, when using apps like Skype or Microsoft Teams. Similarly, faster uplink improves voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calls and online gaming experience.

Hannes Ekström, Head of Product Line 5G RAN at Ericsson, said: “We continue to build on our previous successes, breaking our own record in upload speed. With a peak rate of close to 500 Mbps, we’ve demonstrated in this latest milestone with MediaTek how unprecedented data speeds can be delivered in uplink using mmWave and carrier aggregation. This means our customers can enhance their 5G offerings with higher uplink data rates, vastly improving user experience.”

JS Pan, General Manager of Wireless Communication System and Partnership at MediaTek, said: “This world’s first demonstration of an industry-leading mmWave uplink technology in partnership with Ericsson, shows MediaTek is again establishing 5G milestones and pushing the envelope of its capabilities. 5G mmWave connectivity helps boost network coverage and capacity, faster performance, and introduces more diverse use cases.”

This latest technology milestone follows a single user multiple input multiple output (SU-MIMO demo in April 2021 when Ericsson delivered a single user uplink data rate of 315 Mbps, 15-20 times faster than current typical uplink speed.

Tech details: 

Ericsson and MediaTek integrated four component carrier, each of 100 MHz, in the uplink using non-standalone architecture (aggregating 8x100MHz in the downlink and 4×100 MHz in the uplink). The integration carried out in a lab setting resulted in a throughput of 495 Mbps (425 Mbps in 5G plus 70 Mbps in 4G), doubling the current uplink speed on the market.

The test was done using the 39 GHz spectrum of NR (400 MHz) and combining it with a single carrier of LTE 1900 MHz spectrum (20 MHz). The whole bandwidth was then aggregated using the LTE and NR links, realizing a total throughput of close to 500 Mbps.

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2021/7/ericsson-and-mediatek-achieve-mmwave-uplink-record

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/ericsson-mediatek-near-500-mbps-upload-in-mmwave-carrier-aggregation-tests–1391031

 

Highlights of Ericsson’s Mobility report: 4G still on top, but 5G (mostly NSA) growing rapidly

According to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, the 5G market is growing by around 1 million subscriptions per day. China, North America and the Gulf Cooperation Council markets are leading the way on subscriber numbers, while Europe is off to a slow start.

The world added around 70 million 5G subscribers in the first quarter of 2021, putting it on track to reach 580 million by the end of this year, Ericsson announced. The high growth rate confirms that 5G will be the fastest adopted mobile generation in history.

However, 5G deployed to date is almost 100% 5G NSA (Non Stand Alone), requiring an LTE anchor. That makes it like “4G on steroids,” according to Stephane Teral of Light Counting. Stephane says there are only eight 5G SA networks (T-Mobile US has one) deployed to date.  Only those 5G SA networks can realize the true features/functions of 5G because they have a 5G Core network with associated functions (However, they’re implemented differently by each 5G SA service provider, although Rakuten Mobile wants to change that with its RCS platform).

5G is expected to surpass a billion subscriptions two years ahead of the 4G LTE timeline for the same milestone. This is due mainly to China’s early commitment to 5G and quicker availability of affordable 5G devices.

Average data usage to reach 35 GB/month in 2026:

In the medium term, Ericsson forecasts 5G to grow to 3.5 billion subscriptions in 2026, when coverage should reach around 60 percent of the world’s population. The expansion of 5G will drive strong growth in mobile data traffic as well, which is expected to grow nearly five-fold, from 49 EB per month at the end of 2020 to 237 EB per month in 2026. Average smartphone usage is expected to rise over the same period from 10 GB per user per month to 35 GB.

The data forecast excludes fixed-wireless access, although this element is proving core to 5G offerings. According to the report, almost nine in ten operators that have launched 5G also have a fixed wireless access offering (4G and/or 5G), even in markets with high fiber penetration. FWA traffic is forecast to grow by a factor of seven to reach 64 EB in 2026.

5G Communications Service Providers at the forefront of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) adoption:

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating digitalization and increasing the importance of – and the need for – reliable, high-speed mobile broadband connectivity. According to the latest report, almost nine out of ten communications service providers (CSPs) that have launched 5G also have a fixed wireless access (FWA) offering (4G and/or 5G), even in markets with high fiber penetration. This is needed to accommodate increasing FWA traffic, which the report forecasts to grow by a factor of seven to reach 64 EB in 2026.

Massive IoT on the rise:

Massive IoT technology (NB-IoT and Cat-M) connections are forecast to increase by almost 80 percent during 2021, reaching almost 330 million connections. In 2026, these technologies are forecast to comprise 46 percent of all cellular IoT connections.

Excerpts from the report:

Despite the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, service providers continue to switch on 5G and more than 160 have launched commercial 5G services.1 5G subscriptions with a 5G-capable device grew by 70 million during the first quarter, to reach around 290 million.

We estimate close to 580 million 5G subscriptions2 by the end of 2021. Currently, North East Asia has the highest 5G subscription penetration, followed by North America, Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Western Europe. In 2026, it is projected that North America will have the highest share of 5G subscriptions of all regions at 84 percent.

5G subscription uptake is expected to be faster than that of 4G following its launch in 2009. 5G subscriptions are estimated to reach 1 billion 2 years earlier than 4G.

 

Key factors include China’s earlier engagement with 5G compared to 4G, as well as the timely availability of devices from several vendors. By the end of 2026, we forecast 3.5 billion 5G subscriptions globally, accounting for around 40 percent of all mobile subscriptions at that time.

4G will remain the dominant mobile access technology by subscription over the forecast period. During Q1 2021, 4G subscriptions increased by approximately 100 million, exceeding 4.6 billion, equaling 58 percent of all mobile subscriptions. It is projected to peak during the year at 4.8 billion subscriptions before declining to around 3.9 billion subscriptions by the end of 2026 as more subscribers migrate to 5G.

The net addition of mobile subscriptions was quite low during Q1 2021, at 59 million. This is likely due to the pandemic and associated lockdown restrictions. India had the most net additions (+26 million), followed by China (+6 million) and Nigeria (+3 million).

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Stephane Teral’s favorite chart:

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/mobility-report

https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2021/6/ericsson-mobility-report-more-than-half-a-billion-5g-subscriptions-by-the-end-of-2021

https://www.ericsson.com/49cd40/assets/local/mobility-report/documents/2021/june-2021-ericsson-mobility-report.pdf

 

Ericsson Consumer Lab survey: 70% dissatisfied with 5G “innovative services”

The latest Ericsson Consumer Lab survey has found a 10% higher satisfaction rate with 5G compared to 4G, but also reveals that 70% are dissatisfied (see Key Findings #4. below) at the absence of innovative apps on their 5G bundle.  5G network operators should “differentiate a 5G experience from 4G and promote a sense of novelty and exclusivity.”

Key findings:

1. Consumer intent to upgrade to 5G accelerates despite the pandemic. At least 300 million smartphone users could take up 5G in 2021. By the end of 2020, 22 percent more smartphone users with 5G-ready smartphones could have adopted 5G if knowledge gaps had been addressed.

2. 5G triggers changes in usage behavior, starts to displace Wi-Fi. 5G users spend two hours more per week using cloud gaming and one hour more on augmented reality (AR) apps compared to 4G users. 20 percent say they have decreased their usage of Wi-Fi after upgrading.

3. Indoor 5G coverage is more important for consumers. 5G early adopters rate indoor 5G coverage as two times more important than speed or battery life in driving satisfaction.

4. Early adopters are pleased with 5G speeds but expect more innovation. 70% are dissatisfied with the availability of innovative services and expect new applications making use of 5G. While early adopters are pleased with 5G network speeds, they are already expressing dissatisfaction with a lack of bundled new and innovative apps and services, which they feel were promised in the marketing pitch for 5G.

5. Consumers value 5G plans bundled with digital services and are willing to pay 20–30% more. However, two-thirds of use cases highly valued by consumers have not yet been commercialized.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The report says the biggest revenue boost will come from bundling digital services with 5G tariffs.

Here are five ways that service providers can meet consumer expectations and improve their 5G experience, now and in the future:

1. Enhance the value: address the knowledge gap to educate and better market the value of 5G.

2. Consumers expect the quality of indoor and outdoor coverage to be consistent.

3. Adapt to network requirements of new services enabled by 5G.

4. Focus on the jobs consumers want 5G to do, to envision new use cases.

5. Go beyond just showcases: accelerate the commercialization of existing and new use cases.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The survey found that “at least 300 million consumers could upgrade to 5G in 2021.” We seriously doubt that due to the absence of new applications and services. 

The report states that it will be essential to combine app developers and other ecosystem players to accelerate the commercialization of new services currently being showcased but close to commercial release.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/49944f/assets/local/reports-papers/consumerlab/reports/2021/five-ways-to-a-better-5g-report.pdf

Ericsson ConsumerLab report highlights + 40M 5G India smartphone users forecast

 

Ericsson CEO optimistic on 5G adoption; launches private 5G; global chip shortage to continue

Speaking at Ericsson’s UnBoxed 2021 eventCEO Borje Ekholm said that 5G adoption is accelerating around the world, that the company remains upbeat about the future given the rapid pace of innovation, and advocates “open market.”

“We have always been and always will be believer in open markets and open competition.  The concept of global open standards has made mobile technology affordable due to significant economies of scale. 5G adoption is accelerating around the world, and 5G subscriptions globally is estimated to exceed half a billion before the end of the year,” he said.

Consumption of data by 5G subscribers is 2-3 times higher than that of 4G users, Ekholm noted.

Does anyone who reads the IEEE Techblog really believe that? Readers are invited to express their opinions by posting a Comment in the box below this article.

Private 5G Launched:

Ericsson Private 5G offers secure and simple 4G LTE and 5G Standalone (SA) connectivity primarily targeting – but not limited to – manufacturing, mining and process industry, offshore and power utilities, as well as ports and airports.  Ericsson Private 5G optimizes and simplifies business operations with cloud-based network management, keeps sensitive data on-premise, has zero downtime upgrades and guarantees high performance through Service-Level Agreements (SLAs).

It is easily installed within hours at any facility and can be scaled to support larger coverage areas, more devices and higher capacity when needed. The product is designed to be flexible and will support a range of deployment sizes, depending on requirements, to suit varied needs. Businesses can manage their networks and integrate with IT/OT systems via an open API.

Ericsson Private 5G builds upon Ericsson’s 4G/5G radio and dual mode core technology, enabling a wide variety of use cases for both indoor and outdoor environments while integrating well with business operations, devices and applications. As a result, companies can improve productivity, give their customers more value and provide better working environments for employees.

Innovative use cases include tracking assets and real-time automation to improve productivity in warehouses, and a digital twin that can help to optimize manufacturing operations. Efficient quality inspections can also be performed via augmented reality or smart surveillance drones to increase worker safety, particularly in potentially hazardous environments such as ports and mines.

Ericsson already has a significant track record of operational 4G and 5G private network deployments with customers worldwide. Ericsson Private 5G builds on the success of that solution portfolio and deployment insights, as well as insights from projects such as 5G-Industry Campus Europe.

Peter Burman, Program Manager Mine Automation, at Swedish mining company Boliden, says: “Automation, and safety through automation in our mining operations is an absolute must for us. Ericsson Private 5G is exactly what Boliden needs to bring high quality, fast and secure connectivity into potentially hazardous environments allowing us to mobilize efficiency and safety improving use cases.

Niels König, Coordinator 5G-Industry Campus Europe, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT: “Private 5G networks are highly attractive for producing companies because of the uncompromised performance that 5G can bring, allowing them to tackle the challenges of production. Efficiently deploying and using network solutions in enterprises requires simplicity in installation, flexibility in connecting to existing production IT and lean operations while at the same time being able to scale the network to meet future challenges. Ericsson Private 5G delivers exactly these capabilities.”

Leo Gergs, Senior Analyst, ABI Research, says: “With this new offering, Ericsson will be able to address key trends in the enterprise cellular market.  The value proposition will appeal to operators and service providers as the solution hides technology complexity and therefore reduces the barrier of entry to deployment for many different flavors of enterprise networks.”

Thomas Noren, Head of Dedicated Networks, Business Area Technologies and New Businesses, Ericsson, says: “With Ericsson Private 5G, we take the best of Ericsson’s current portfolio and top it up with the best of our new technology. We do this to give businesses what they need to improve productivity, enable new offerings and give employees a better working environment. With Ericsson Private 5G, we also give operators a better way to serve business customers and leverage their assets – in short, to grow beyond mobile broadband.”

Effect of Chip Shortage:

The CEO predicted a global chip shortage would continue into 2022, increasing the likelihood the network equipment vendor would be affected after so far managing to mitigate the impact.

Ericsson began diversifying its supplier base almost three years ago, helping it weather current shortages and leaving it positioned to “be able to continue to supply our customers like we have in the past.”  Yet he conceded the longer the shortage persists, “the more risk it will be for us”. Given the “lead time to increase capacity is long”, Ekholm expects the shortage to last.

He said global demand for chipsets is increasing with digitalization, making more capacity critical.

Smaller US operators recently told the Federal Communications Commission they need more time to replace Huawei equipment due to the chip market woes.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

References:

https://www.gadgetsnow.com/tech-news/5g-momentum-accelerating-globally-committed-to-open-markets-ericsson-ceo/articleshow/83146819.cms

https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2021/6/ericsson-private-5g-set-to-transform-secure-on-site-connectivity

Ericsson private networks – dedicated networks – Ericsson

Transforming enterprises

Ericsson chief tips chip shortage to last

 

 

Ericsson ConsumerLab report highlights + 40M 5G India smartphone users forecast

A study conducted by Ericsson ConsumerLab has the following key findings:

1. Consumer intent to upgrade to 5G accelerates despite the pandemic. At least 300 million smartphone users could take up 5G in 2021. By the end of 2020, 22 percent more smartphone users with 5G-ready smartphones could have adopted 5G if knowledge gaps had been addressed.

2. 5G triggers changes in usage behavior, starts to displace Wi-Fi. 5G users spend two hours more per week using cloud gaming and one hour more on augmented reality (AR) apps compared to 4G users. 20 percent say they have decreased their usage of Wi-Fi after upgrading.

3. Indoor 5G coverage more important for consumers. 5G early adopters rate indoor 5G coverage as two times more important than speed or battery life in driving satisfaction.

4. Early adopters are pleased with 5G speeds but expect more innovation. Seventy percent are dissatisfied with the availability of innovative services and expect new applications making use of 5G.

5. Consumers value 5G plans bundled with digital services and are willing to pay 20–30 percent more. However, two-thirds of use cases highly valued by consumers have not yet been commercialized.

Ericsson’s ConsumerLab insight report, is claimed to be the biggest ever 5G consumer study, covering opinions of 1.3 billion consumers and 220 million 5G users, to uncover the key trends that are influencing the adoption, usage and perception of consumers towards 5G, and suggest five important steps service providers can take to meet consumer expectations now and in the future.

Image Credit: Reuters

The report suggests five ways that service providers can meet consumer expectations and improve their 5G experience, now and in the future:

1. Enhance the value: address the knowledge gap to educate and better market the value of 5G.

2. Consumers expect the quality of indoor and outdoor coverage to be consistent.

3. Adapt to network requirements of new services enabled by 5G.

4. Focus on the jobs consumers want 5G to do, to envision new use cases.

5. Go beyond just showcases: accelerate the commercialization of existing and new use cases

The study revealed that at least 40 million smartphone users are likely to be 5G subscribers in the first year of it being introduced in India. The study further suggests that users are willing to pay up to 50 percent more for 5G plans if they are bundled with digital services.

According to the report, 67 percent of users in India are eager to upgrade to 5G once it is available, which is an increase of 14 percent over 2019. Reportedly, seven out of 10 potential early adopters expect higher speeds from 5G, and six out of 10 expect “pricing innovation from Communication Service Providers”, meaning 5G data will be used to transfer media from one device to another.

The report suggests that more than one-third of urban internet users would prefer using 5G home broadband instead of the existing fixed home wireline broadband. The report further reveals users of 5G-ready smartphones in India expect to spend more time on enhanced video streaming and multiplayer mobile gaming. Ericsson predicts India residence will be spending 7.5 to 8 hours a week on iPhone XR 5G apps by 2025.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/reports-and-papers/consumerlab/reports/five-ways-to-a-better-5g

https://www.ericsson.com/49944f/assets/local/reports-papers/consumerlab/reports/2021/five-ways-to-a-better-5g-report.pdf

https://www.firstpost.com/tech/news-analysis/at-least-40-million-smartphone-users-in-india-likely-to-adopt-5g-in-its-first-year-ericsson-consumerlab-study-9618271.html