Ericsson says 80% of customers testing its Dynamic Spectrum Sharing solution plan to deploy in next 12 months
While there’s criticism around the technology’s overall impact on network capacity, a number of major global operators are current or have said they will implement Dynamic Spectrum Sharing to extend the reach of 5G networks. And Ericsson, the only major network infrastructure vendor with a commercially available DSS solution, said on Feb. 27 more than 80% of customers testing Ericsson Spectrum Sharing plan to deploy in in the next year.
Swisscom is a leader in the use of DSS; Ericsson is Swisscom’s end-to-end provider. The operator launched 5G early in 2019 using its mid-band spectrum then, in December, used DSS to expand its 5G network reach to cover 90% of the country’s population.
In addition to Swisscom, Ericsson has also publicly mentioned its DSS work with Ooredoo in Qatar, Telstra in Australia, and Play in Poland. In supporting comments from carrier executives, a running theme was Ericsson Spectrum Sharing as a mechanism to rapidly expand 5G coverage and make efficient use of spectrum resources.
Ooredoo Qatar’s CEO Waleed Al Sayed said Ericsson’s DSS solution “comes as a unique innovation that dynamically shares spectrum between 4G and 5G carriers based on traffic demand. This enables us to use our spectrum assets efficiently by driving 5G-wide coverage roll-out quickly, smoothly and cost efficiently. This will help us achieve our strategic objectives, enabling us to enhance our customers’ internet experience and enrich their digital lives.”
Play has already deployed Ericsson Spectrum Sharing on its network. CEO Jean Marc Harion said in a statement that the operator is working “to continuously expand and modernize our network. With Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, we are taking a significant step towards being ready for commercial introduction of 5G when the devices become available.”
In the U.S. both AT&T and Verizon have articulated their intent to use dynamic spectrum sharing. AT&T is currently offering commercial 5G services using millimeter wave spectrum, called 5G+, and in 850 MHz spectrum, which the operator also uses for LTE services.
A Verizon spokesperson recently detailed the logic behind when to deploy DSS, saying they’ll pull the trigger, “When we feel it will provide the best experience for all customers – 4G and 5G – we will look at deploying 5G on lower bands.”
Over what would’ve been Mobile World Congress Barcelona, Ericsson received the Overall Mobile Technology Award (the CTO Award) from GLOMO judges for the Ericsson Spectrum Sharing solution.
In addition to its role in accelerating the expansion of 5G coverage, DSS is considered a bridge technology that can ease the transition from non-standalone 5G to standalone 5G. Qualcomm’s Dean Brenner, vice president of spectrum strategy and technology policy, summarized: “DSS is a very important bridge to get [to standalone]. DSS is pushing 5G coverage out as expansively as possible. So that means when the 5G core is launched, you’re already going to have this very, very broad 5G coverage. If you didn’t have DSS you have kind of two problems–you have to get to the 5G standalone core but you also have to get 5G built out.”
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