5G updates cover RAN, core, transport, orchestration

Ahead of Mobile World Congress Barcelona next week, Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm made clear that while 5G is the subject of significant marketing hype, “It’s not just talk.”

Pointing to 5G-related deals with 10 named operators and 42 memorandums of understanding, Ekholm said in a statement, “We are on the threshold of a global technology shift – with new opportunities, new efficiencies, and new business models. This goes beyond our industry. It is a shift for our entire society. Paradigm shifts in technology are powerful things, generating excitement but sometimes also unease. This makes it crucial that we clearly explain our technology to the world around us. We must make sure that other industries, governments and people trust the security and integrity of our networks. And we must do all of this against a complicated and changing geopolitical backdrop.”

While making clear his confidence on how 5G is shaping up globally, Ekholm did acknowledge concern that Europe could fall behind based largely on spectral regulatory issues. He said Ericsson customers “are impacted by this uncertainty…They have a lot at stake, and we understand that continued uncertainty will impact their ability to move forward.”

On the product side, Ericsson highlighted the ability of its Dual-mode 5G Cloud Core to facilitate a long-term transition from LTE to non-standalone 5G NR, which adds a 5G carrier to an LTE RAN and core, as well as to standalone 5G NR.

For transport, the Swedish infrastructure vendor has repeatedly made the point that fiber and microwave will both be necessary to support the level of network densification 5G commands. To that end, the company has added a new line of MINI-LINK products for long-haul microwave transport capable of supporting up to 10 Gbps.

On the radio side, Ericsson is launching nine massive MIMO radios that support dual-band and tri-band transmission, as well as adding software support for a virtualized RAN architecture.

In a statement, Ovum Service Provider Practice Leader Daryl Schoolar called described the goal of this portfolio update as meant to “further facilitate…its customers with a smooth and efficient transition from 4G to 5G. More importantly, the evolved 5G Platform provides service providers with the tools to monetize upcoming 5G use cases, with an initial focus on enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access.”


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