Common standards are essential if operators are to stand any chance of success in 5G. With fragmentation, universal connectivity is harder to achieve; the risk is that connectivity is subdivided into segments of users that have compatible devices – whether they are consumer customers buying the latest smartphones, or global enterprises deploying an IoT solution.
With fragmentation, time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere are instead channelled into developing interoperability solutions that knit these disparate environments together.
4G served as a costly example of where the industry failed to adopt a global mobile standard. Some markets went with FDD LTE, while others pushed TDD LTE. Meanwhile, in the US, some operators branded their HSPA networks as 4G, giving customers mixed messages about the performance and characteristics of the technology.
It drove up the complexity and cost of deploying and operating networks, limited confidence in new technology, and ultimately delayed adoption. With the first 5G devices expected to go on sale in 2019, avoiding fragmentation is therefore critical.
Developing common standards requires global, coordinated input from stakeholders that have the expertise to lead the industry into the next generation of mobile technology.
But Standardisation is already here…
Ericsson has a long and distinguished history when it comes to developing mobile standards, but in the case of 5G, we have made our largest contribution to date.
We already had a clear vision of what 5G could become back in 2010, and our work since then has culminated in a patent application that combines the work of 130 inventors and includes everything an operator needs to build a complete 5G network.
Delving even deeper, Ericsson has contributed to the development of 5G New Radio (NR), which enables aggressive radio interface performance. This is made possible by our flexible and scalable numerology, which ensures good co-existence between LTE and NB-IoT, as well as very low latency. Our ultra-lean design enables future-proof and self-contained data transmissions, and reduced interference with neighbouring sites.
Ericsson has also been closely involved with the development of the full 3GPP Release 15 NR, which will enable standalone 5G NR with user and protocol plane using the 5G next-generation core network. Our 5G core network introduces network slicing to configure networks according to the specific requirements of different customers. It also introduces distributed cloud infrastructure, that moves compute and storage closer to the end user.
Ericsson has also laid the groundwork for improved privacy and security in the 5G standard, including asymmetric encryption methods to improve subscriber untraceability. We are also working to improve IoT security, by implementing flexible identity management, where different types of credentials for constrained or more powerful devices can coexist.
We are also driving sustainability in the 5G standard by driving the shift from "always on" to "always available", enabling energy savings without impacting network performance KPIs.
Ericsson is also driving the production of standardised 5G modules, which will stimulate broad uptake of next-generation IoT services by multiple industries. The first module-based 5G devices, supporting ultra-low latency for industrial process monitoring and control, are expected to rollout in 2020.
“Combines the work of 130 inventors and includes everything an operator needs to build a complete 5G network”
Essential parts of the 5G standard have been completed with the approval of 5G New Radio (NR) specifications for non-standalone and standalone deployments of 5G.
The 5G standardization process is complex and highly innovative. With pioneering research and early collaborations with academia and other industries, we have developed and contributed to a standard that meets the needs of different industries and the society.
Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and Swisscom, the leading telecommunications provider in Switzerland, have stepped up their 5G game by accomplishing Europe’s first end-to-end, multivendor 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) data call on 3.5 GHz band in the Swiss city of Burgdorf.
The case study that uncovers how 5G can improve manufacturing processes.
We believe in collaborating, using our end-to-end capabilities and expertise to help you along the way – or the entire way.