Ericsson Introduces World's First 5G NR Radio

Source: Ericsson

Ericsson is commercializing the world's first 5G NR radio for massive MIMO, with deployments planned for 2017. Together with their 5G Plug-Ins announced in June and their commercially available Radio System Baseband 5216, which currently powers their Radio Test Bed, they are the first to deliver all the components of a 5G access network.

By 2021, Ericsson forecasts' that 7.7 billion mobile broadband subscriptions and 1.5 billion cellular IoT devices will depend on mobile networks worldwide. Leading operators - who want to be frontrunners in the networked society - are already planning their 5G networks to meet these needs.

In order to support growing demand from both people and things and the ever increasing traffic volumes, mobile operators are continuously striving to improve the capacity, quality and functionality that their networks. The road to next generation mobile networks, 5G, means operators want to continue to invest in the LTE technology that will be foundational to their 5G networks and business.

5G will encompass an evolution of today's 4G networks and the addition of a new, globally standardized radio access technology known as NR, which stands for New Radio.

First 5G NR radio, featuring massive MIMO and MU-MIMO

AIR 6468 combines advanced antennas with a large number of steerable ports to enable 5G beamforming technologies, Massive MIMO and building on that - Multi-user MIMO, initialized as MU-MIMO. It features 64 transmit and 64 receive antennas enabling it to support their 5G plug-ins for both Massive MIMO and Multi-User MIMO. These capabilities improve user experience while enhancing the capacity and coverage of the network and reducing interference. The new radio provides LTE support as well, so it is applicable in today's networks.

The high-performance beamforming, required for Massive MIMO, is enabled through the use of a split Cloud RAN architecture, which brings the required intelligence and scalability to this new radio. And, the AIR 6468 is designed for compatibility with the 5G NR standard while also supporting LTE. As we accelerate toward 5G, it's beneficial to have a flexible radio platform that can be deployed not only for LTE, but also versions of future 5G NR standards.

Huang Yuhong, Deputy Head, China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI), says: "Massive-MIMO, also known as 3D MIMO, is an important milestone in China Mobile's technology roadmap from 4G to 5G. We are very happy that Ericsson's new radio product is coming to market soon to meet our needs and enable us to integrate 5G technologies into our existing networks."

Daniel Staub, Head of Joint Mobile Group, Swisscom, says: "On the road to 5G, we will continue to invest in LTE advancements that will become part of our 5G networks. For us, it is key that Ericsson has chosen to focus on advances that will support us in this evolution. These enhancements will further improve the customer experience."

Additional new Ericsson Radio System gear that addresses 5G concepts:

  • Three new radios support Gigabit speeds for LTE and provide further flexibility in design: Radio 4407 and Radio 4412 enable 4x4 MIMO in one radio unit for FDD and TDD mode respectively, and Radio 8808 for advanced TDD beamforming applications
  • Addressing both the need for unlicensed spectrum options and the growing emphasis on small cells is the Radio 2205, a micro solution on unlicensed spectrum that is fully integrated in Ericsson Radio System, using the same baseband and network management
  • Two new baseband units support the growing need for densification: the outdoor micro Baseband 6502 and macro Baseband 6303 with Ericsson Rail System mounting for flexible site builds
  • Addressing interference issues in dense builds, Baseband P614 enables new band activation on challenging sites by mitigating Passive Inter Modulation, referred to as PIM mitigation, from static and dynamic sources both inside and outside the antenna system
  • Spectrum optimization is a growing need and Uplink Spectrum Analyzer is an Ericsson-unique software solution to remotely identify external interference without the need for costly measurement equipment and site visits
  • Exclusive to Ericsson is instant power sharing, used in the wideband Radio 2242. This capability allows power to be instantly shared between carriers, standards and bands, optimizing the use of radio resources
  • Cloud RAN will be an important 5G network architecture and Baseband C608 provides high-performance switching in Elastic RAN deployments

Mobile operators, today, are clearly focused on the race to 5G commercialization, while also continuing to invest in their existing LTE networks. To support new network builds, Ericsson has created the industry's first Industrialized Network Rollout Services solution. The Network Deployment Delivery Platform coupled with their pioneering process facilitates the complete configuration, installation, integration, shakedown and handover of a fully verified site, ready in a single site visit.