Ericsson’s new radio capabilities are Gigabit LTE and the Elastic RAN

Ericsson unveils new radio capabilities ahead of Mobile World Congress 2016.

Ericsson has taken the wraps off a clutch of new radio capabilities, including hardware and software upgrades.

In an online media event held on 3 February, the vendor said that it would be launching a new architecture for C- RAN, a new access radio and new backhaul radios. It has also introduced new features to increase spectral efficiency.

Ericsson radio innovationsSebastian Tolstoy, Head of Marketing and Communications, Business Unit Radio, said that the launch included a new access radio and baseband. Features include:
– 60MHz of carrier aggregation
– 4×4 MIMO on 20MHz mid and high bands
– 2×2 MIMO in low bands
– 1.4GHz supplemental downlink band
– 2x80W high powered radio designed for spectrum refarming
– 256 QAM modulation

This would all add up to the “world’s first commercial Gigabit LTE Solution” according to Ericsson publicity.

gigabit LTe performance

There are also new microwave additions that support multi-gigabit capacities in the backhaul, with 5-10Gbps capacities. All these upgrades come within the Ericsson Radio System that the vendor announced last year. Details were thin within the call but if radio is your thing then expect to see more on these releases from Ericsson at Mobile World Congress.

elastic RANThe vendor also announced that it has designed support for a new way to design C-RAN networks. It said that whereas previously Baseband Units (BBUs) had tended to be gathered in local clusters, meaning that control of radio resources could only be co-ordinated within a local area, it has designed and Elastic RAN, that will allow for a sort of any to any coordination across the entire network.

That might sound like a challenge for the fronthaul – the link between the baseband units and the remote radio heads – as in theory there could be a greater distance between a deployed BBU resource and its endpoint. But Ericsson told TMN that the opposite was true as operators can deploy on a choice of architectires. A reply from the vendor said: “The Elastic RAN gives the operator the flexibility to either deploy centralised RAN or distributed RAN. This gives the operator the possibility to achieve full coordination without the stringent fronthaul requirement of typical centralised deployment.”

3G for all
The vendor also announced a few releases that were aimed at extending 3G coverage in areas where it has been less economic to deploy to date. In this regard the vendor introduced something called WCDMA Flow of Users. There are few details on this. There was also an announcement of an antenna sharing capability, aimed at enabling operators to reduce the cost of adding 3G to 2G sites.