Ericsson has introduced three new offerings in its 5G networking portfolio intended to make rolling those networks out both faster and more flexible. That includes a new portfolio of radio access network (RAN) technologies and Street Macro on the hardware side as well as a new spectrum sharing solution on the software side. All of Ericsson’s new solutions are set to become available in the second half of next year. Beginning with the former, Ericsson’s new RAN Compute portfolio folds in current and new basebands to centralize its offerings under the central tenant of more flexibility in distributing RAN functions such as beamforming. There are a total of four new products including two new basebands and two new radio processors. The former of those lets service providers deploy RAN functionality at the radio site and the latter allow RAN functions to be situated closer to the radio than previous offerings. The result, Ericsson says, is a reduced radio site footprint in addition to increased capacity by up to three times and support for ultra-low latency applications.
Meanwhile, the company has also introduced a ‘Street Macro’ radio solution and technologies intended to help bolster signals and capacity in high-density locations. Among the first of the new offerings is Fronthaul 6000. Although the company hasn’t divulged any details about that specific product, the concept behind Street Macro suggests that it will feature a footprint similar to micro radio sites with output comparable to a full radio site. Effectively, Street Macro represents a below-rooftop network layer between those solutions to enable higher output, easier installation, and network densification in a package that will also meet standards for aesthetics for below-roof-level radio sites.
Finally, the company is launching Ericsson Spectrum Sharing Software. The software is based on an intelligent scheduler algorithm and enables network switching between 4G LTE and 5G NR in milliseconds. That’s done dynamically, based on demand, allowing 5G to more easily be operated on both older and new spectrum, while optimizing the sharing of spectrum for a better end-user experience. Moreover, the technology should enable network carriers to quickly turn on 5G where their networking equipment supports it, in advance of installing 5G-specific equipment.