Pegging 2020 as the global commencement for 5G subscription, Ericsson is among the pioneer who is striving to decode the possibilities of this nascent technology.
The Swedish communication technology major asserts that the applications and use cases of 5G can dynamically impact both consumers and industries which includes self-driving cars, remote controlled robots, haptic feedback-enabled drones and fixed wireless access – rivalling fiber capacity – for residential homes.
To facilitate rapid evolution of 5G access networks and the successful adoption of 5G services, Ericsson has announced 5G Plug-Ins, which are said to be software-driven innovations bringing eminent 5G technology concepts to today’s cellular networks.
While 4G is said to keep the tempo and by 2021 is expected to reach a total of 4.3 billion subscriptions.
Alongside, the development of 5G will balloon from today’s radio access technologies and the addition of new, globally standardized technologies, often in higher frequencies. However, the key success factor in 5G will not only be effectively leveraging these new spectrum bands, but also ensuring that the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” when it comes to combining LTE with new radio access technologies.
The company’s new 5G Plug-Ins are known to cater these developments as the new rollouts are software-driven innovations supported by the Ericsson Radio System, and are specifically focused on capabilities that operators can leverage within current networks to facilitate their evolution to 5G.
Citing on the new development, Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Radio, Ericsson said, “5G will be driven by new use cases requiring higher performance – from connected cars with perfect driving records, to immersive augmented reality for remote surgery, to multi-K movies on mobile devices. 5G will unlock new consumer and industrial applications, and with our 5G field trial plans already well underway, we are now introducing Ericsson 5G Plug-Ins, which enable the evolutionary steps that operators need to take as they develop networks to secure their 5G future.”
Peter Jarich, Vice President, Consumer and Infrastructure Services, Current Analysis said, “5G has gained undeniable momentum over the last year. Yet, without spectrum allocations or ratified standards, operators need a migration tactic allowing them to leverage current network investments in synch with their 5G evolution strategies. Ericsson’s 5G Plug-Ins deliver this flexibility, supporting the deployment of advanced access technologies in the near-term, and in preparation for 5G.”
With 5G Plug-Ins, mobile operators can begin to trial and implement 5G technology as early as this year, and evolve to 5G at their own pace.
Ericsson 5G Plug-Ins includes:
- Massive MIMO Plug-In: Massive MIMO is the combination of Single-User MIMO (SU-MIMO) and beamforming supported by advanced antennas with a large number of steerable ports. Massive MIMO improves both the user experience and the capacity and coverage of the network.
- Multi-User MIMO Plug-In: building on Massive MIMO, Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) transmits data to multiple user devices using the same time and frequency resources and coordinates beamforming. MU-MIMO provides a better user experience, enhances network capacity and coverage, and reduces interference.
- RAN Virtualization Plug-In: RAN Virtualization improves network efficiency and performance by enabling Virtual Network Functions (VNF) to be centralized on a common platform supporting both 4G and 5G.
- Intelligent Connectivity Plug-In: where 5G and 4G coverage areas overlap, Intelligent Connectivity enables the network to robustly anchor and intelligently route data based on application requirements and network resource availability, increasing the combined data throughput of 4G and 5G resources.
- Latency Reduction Plug-In: this Plug-In shortens access procedures and modifies the frame structure to enable instant network access and more frequent transmissions. This in turn reduces time-to-content while enabling real-time communications for key 5G applications such as smart vehicles.
Ericsson 5G Plug-Ins are said to be available for operator trials starting in 2016 and will be available for commercial networks starting in 2017.
The company has already aligned with more than 20 leading mobile operators worldwide on 5G networking and use cases, including 5G field trials in 2016.
Further info on 5G Plug-Ins