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5G radio technology for high bandwidth connections

Evolving today’s networks to 5G is key to keeping pace with the demands for connectivity. Opportunities span new high-bandwidth applications, low latency powered Internet of Things (IoT) services and beyond. 5G aims to satisfy the evolving needs by providing ubiquitous connectivity for any kind of device or application that may benefit.

Radio access technologies are a fundamental component of 5G. They must support massive numbers of connected devices and meet the real-time, high-reliability communication needs of mission-critical applications in addition to increasing network speed and capacity.

Ericsson 5G radio access technologies provide the infrastructure to support the world’s growing demand for high-bandwidth connections to people, things and industries.

Enabling new use cases

5G will provide wireless connectivity for a wide range of new applications and use cases, such as wearables, smart homes, traffic safety and control, critical infrastructure, industry processes and ultra-high-speed media delivery.

These applications have vastly different characteristics and requirements—many of them new. Supporting connectivity for these applications and those yet to come, 5G wireless access capabilities must extend far beyond previous generations of mobile communication.

These new 5G capabilities must support:

  • Massive system capacity
  • High data rates everywhere
  • Low latency
  • Ultra-high reliability and availability
  • Low device cost and energy consumption
  • Energy-efficient networks
  • Interoperability with existing wireless networks

Key 5G capabilities

New spectrum

To support increased traffic capacity and data throughput, 5G will extend the range of mobile communication frequencies. This includes new spectrum below 6GHz, as well as spectrum in higher frequency bands.

Low frequency bands will continue to be the backbone of mobile networks. New high frequencies, especially those above 10GHz, will complement low frequencies as needed to provide additional system capacity or wide transmission bandwidths for extreme data rates in dense deployments.

Network evolution

Networks are evolving to meet the needs of new use cases with different demands on mobility, data rates, latency, reliability and device density.

Read about the latest trends in Ericsson Mobility Report

Massive MIMO increasing capacity and spectral efficiency

Multi-antenna transmission already plays an important role in current generations of mobile communication and will be even more central in the 5G era. Massive MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) uses a combination of advanced antennas with a large number of steerable ports to significantly increase the number of transmission points, which increases spectral efficiency, network capacity and delivers faster data throughput.

Learn more about Massive MIMO

From cell centric to user centric with beamforming

Beamforming utilizes the Massive MIMO advanced antenna array to increase the capacity and effectiveness of radio transmissions. Beamforming achieves this by shaping the radio signals into highly focused, steerable beams which deliver a stronger radio signal a greater distance and with less energy.  As a result, Beamforming and Beam steering enable higher data throughput throughout the cell, and higher data rates at the cell edge. With Beamforming, the radio data transmission is sent directly to the device instead of broadcasting across the entire cell which also reduces intercell interference further improving system performance. The number and shape of the beams is controlled dynamically to meet the application needs.

Learn more about the benefits of beamforming

Ultra-lean design for improved energy performance

Ultra-lean radio-access design is important to achieve high efficiency in 5G networks. The basic principle of ultra-lean design can be expressed as: minimize any transmissions not directly related to the delivery of user data. Such transmissions include signals for synchronization, network acquisition and channel estimation, as well as the broadcast of different types of system and control information.

Ultra-lean design is especially important for dense deployments with a large number of network nodes and highly variable traffic conditions. However, lean transmission is beneficial for all kinds of deployments, including macro deployments.

Virtualized RAN for 5G

Some of the RAN functions that are less sensitive to time delay which are hosted within the baseband units have the opportunity to become virtualized to increase network flexibility., For example, the multipath-handling function that is the anchor point for dual connectivity in 5G can be further optimized. By moving this function higher up in the network, “tromboning” traffic delays and inefficiencies can be avoided.

Fronthaul for 5G: eCPRI

To meet the needs for 5G, the new industry standard 5G fronthaul—eCPRI—will improve bandwidth efficiency, increase capacities and lower latencies.

Ericsson has implemented the market’s first commercial eCPRI interface in Ericsson Radio System. Its bandwidth scales flexibly with user traffic and allows for a 10x reduction of bandwidth on the interface. eCPRI will use standard Ethernet connections over dedicated fiber.

By using the eCPRI interface, Ericsson has moved beamforming processing from the baseband to the radio. This allows for a much simpler Massive MIMO deployment and provides the flexibility needed in real-life site environments.

Ericsson 5G field trial system

With 5G slated for commercialization in 2020, leading mobile operators are already planning pre-standard field trials to test advanced technology features that can harness high frequency spectrum, and provide the speed and capacity needed for innovative new applications.

Ericsson is using its industry-leading 5G trial system to support multiple trial engagements with operators around the world. As operators explore new business opportunities and test applications, Ericsson 5G Radio Prototypes enable operators to field trial 5G services in existing indoor or outdoor network environments. The technology innovations enabled by the award-winning Ericsson 5G Radio Test Bed and Ericsson 5G Radio Prototypes are moving rapidly to commercial deployment.

Ericsson’s 5G portfolio supports the major changes in network capabilities operators need to take on the journey to 5G. It enables operators to offer customers more advanced use cases and new business models.

Demo: 28 GHz system

5G over-the-air interoperability on 28GHz system with Intel device, and running 4x4K video streaming application on top. Beamforming has been implemented in both direction between 5G radio and device.

Demo: 5G remote driven car

5G remote driven car show Showing the impact of low latency and high data capacity. Three 4K video streams plus numerous sensors transmitted from the car to the driving seat.

Developing 5G based on real business needs

We are exploring the potential of 5G through close partnerships and trials with more than 30 leading mobile operators.

Ericsson Radio System for the journey to 5G

Ericsson’s 5G portfolio for radio access supports the major changes in network capabilities operators need to take on the journey to 5G. It enables operators to offer customers more advanced use cases and new business models already in their 4G network while preparing for 5G.

Find out more about Ericsson Radio System 5G readiness

5G press releases