MWC 2019: Ericsson and Intel demo 4G-5G spectrum sharing

Using Intel’s 5G mobile trial platform and Ericsson’s software, the two have proved they can run 4G and 5G traffic simultaneously on the same frequency carrier.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Ericsson is showcasing its new spectrum sharing software using Intel's 5G mobile trial platform and a 4G smartphone at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in Barcelona, with the two tech giants saying it proves carriers can run 4G and 5G traffic simultaneously on the same frequency.

The software, which can be activated on all radio system equipment from Ericsson dating back to 2015, supports both mobile networks at the same time thanks to what it called "intelligent scheduling algorithms".

The companies said that at every millisecond, the split of 4G and 5G simultaneous capacity is adjusted according to the active devices using the network.

"Our new spectrum sharing solution enables service providers to intelligently, flexibly, and quickly introduce and add 5G within existing 4G carriers," Ericsson head of Product Area Networks Per Narvinger said.

"Our customers can strengthen their 5G offering while continuing to invest in 4G, with the peace of mind that those investments will pay dividends when the time comes to switch on 5G."

Earlier in February, Intel and Ericsson had also partnered to develop a software and hardware management platform for 5G, network function virtualisation (NFV), and distributed cloud.

The two companies are combining Ericsson's software-defined infrastructure (SDI) management software and Intel's Rack Scale Design for the multi-year project.

"Our infrastructure manageability collaboration with Ericsson will help communications service providers remove deployment barriers, reduce costs, and deliver new 5G and edge services with cloudlike speed on a flexible, programmable and intelligent network," Intel Network Platform Group SVP Sandra Rivera said.

In September, Intel had said its technology would be used by Ericsson as well as Nokia in the first series of 5G deployments globally.

"Intel is powering the first wave of 5G networks," Rivera said at the time.

"Starting with our 5G New Radio modems, we're building a portfolio of capabilities that lend an additional foundation to the hundreds of millions of modem devices that we have shipped to the market for 4G networks."

Intel and Ericsson have collaborated on 5G for carriers across the globe, including T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone Group, BT, Telia, Swisscom, Telefonica, Lifecell, Etisalat, MTN, Turkcell, Ooredoo, Orange, China Mobile, China Unicom, SoftBank, NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, Chungwa Telecom, Far EasTone, and Telstra.

Disclosure: Corinne Reichert travelled to Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona as a guest of Intel

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