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Ericsson launches new 5G solutions

Ericsson has added spectrum sharing for 4G and 5G, street macro radios for mmWave bands, and RAN compute to its 5G portfolio, with the three new products to become available in the second half of 2019.

Ericsson has announced adding three new products to its 5G hardware and software portfolio, including spectrum sharing between 4G and 5G bands, street macro transport solutions across millimetre-wave (mmWave) deployments, and radio access network (RAN) compute.

The Ericsson Spectrum Sharing software will support 4G and 5G simultaneously through the same spectrum band when using any Ericsson Radio System since 2015 via a remote software installation, the company said.

"This capability will allow communication service providers to deliver nationwide 5G coverage with a much more flexible spectrum migration strategy -- removing the need for dedicating existing 4G spectrum assets to 5G statically, which would negatively impact 4G performance," Ericsson explained.

The networking giant's new Street Macro radios then make it easier to increase capacity in urban areas across mmWave spectrum bands.

Lastly, the RAN Compute portfolio will enable the easy distribution of RAN functions including beam forming and radio control, Ericsson said, and includes all current basebands as well as four new products that increase the capacity of current basebands by up to threefold.

"Two new RAN Compute Basebands enable service providers to deploy RAN functions centrally, or at the radio site, while two new RAN Compute Radio Processors enable RAN functions to be placed closer to the radio for enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-low latency applications while reducing site footprint," Ericsson explained.

Ericsson ANZ MD Emilio Romeo said the additions would support its telco customers in their deployment of 5G networks by making it faster and easier.

"5G is moving from a buzzword to reality, offering significant potential for operators as it becomes increasingly integral to industrial businesses," Romeo said.

"In Australia, with the introduction of 5G, telecom operators can look to generate a 48 percent incremental revenue by 2026."

All three 5G solutions will launch commercially in the second half of 2019, and follow Ericsson unveiling a complete commercial 5G software set across radio and core networks in February.

All Ericsson Radio System products will be backwards compatible with 5G NR capabilities thanks to remote software installation, including legacy radios dating back to 2015, dot system products, and micro radios. Such products have been deployed in over 190 networks globally, Ericsson said at the time.

In unveiling its first-half results in July, Ericsson had announced net sales of 93.2 billion Swedish kronor (SEK) ($10.5 billion), down from 98.1 billion SEK a year ago, as CEO Börje Ekholm pointed to a future in capturing 5G business.

The Swedish networking giant reduced its net loss from 10.5 billion SEK this time last year to 2.5 billion SEK this half, despite spending more on R&D. R&D spend increased from 17.4 billion SEK to 18.9 billion SEK year on year during the six-month period, "mainly due to increased 4G and 5G investments in networks".

"Customers turn to new technology in order to manage growing demand for data with sustained quality and without increasing costs. This, together with fixed-wireless access, represent the first business cases for 5G. We will continue to invest in securing leadership in 5G," Ekholm said in July.

"This includes further investments in R&D, to solidify our complete 5G portfolio, and investments in field trials. We also intend to selectively capture new business opportunities through our 5G-ready 4G portfolio to extend our footprint as operators prepare for 5G. We provide solutions for all frequency bands for 5G, which strengthens our global competitiveness."

Ericsson had raised $370 million in December to support its 5G, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT) R&D activities.

In the past day, Ericsson has also announced a 5G partnership with Juniper Networks, an IoT partnership with Sprint, the acquisition of US service assurance technology company Cenx, and the completion of a 5G call with Swisscom in Switzerland.

Ericsson also announced making a 5G data call across a commercial mobile network in partnership with Telstra and Intel in June, using its commercial 5G NR radio 6488, baseband, and packet core across 3.5GHz spectrum, and launched a 5G software development centre in the US in August.

It also recently launched a 5G innovation lab in India, saying it will encourage collaboration on 5G technologies and applications between telecommunications carriers, industry, startups, and academia; signed a partnership to fit out Audi's car factories with 5G connectivity; and is helping Singtel launch its 5G trial network at the end of 2018.

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