What's ahead on the road to 5G?

The Ericsson hall has just opened the doors in Barcelona for MWC2015 and Ericsson Research is once more on site, prepared with demos and prototypes and eager to share what they believe the future has in store. If you can’t be there in person, let us guide you through what is on display there!
Mar 02, 2015
5G   #5G

Visitors encounter the first Ericsson Research demo already outside of the Hall – a full size, live excavator being operated over an LTE network from inside the building.


"We’re pretty excited," says Master Researcher Cristian Norlin. "This year, we present a fully working demonstrator of the concept we introduced in 2014. Visitors to our stand are able to drive two real excavators remotely – one in Barcelona and one in Eskilstuna, Sweden – live over mobile networks." The demo is made in collaboration with Volvo Construction Equipment, supported by Oryx Simulations. The application was built using Ericsson Research’s open source project. http://www.openwebrtc.io/

The Remote control over mobile network – as is the formal name of the demo – illustrates one important use case for future 5G networks: Critical Machine Type Communication. 5G and the road to get there is the theme for Ericsson Research’s display in the Explore area of the hall. The altogether 10 stations all address different aspects of 5G and the road towards 5G.

The title station "On the road to 5G" is an interactive presentation that answers questions like Why 5G? What is 5G? What is Ericsson doing in 5G? and When can we have 5G? The station is also good introduction to all the other demos in the Ericsson Research area.

The 5G radio testbed demo gives visitors the chance to experience 5 gigabit/second over the air! The shopping cart size 5G test mobile is run live in Barcelona, and new, additional, features are shown over video link from Sweden. Dual connectivity – connecting simultaneously to 5G and LTE is a crucial milestone on the road to 5G, and is part of the show here.

Downlink User Throughput

Antenna Beam Forming will become more important in future networks. Utilizing the smaller foot print of antenna elements when operating on higher frequencies, it is possible to create advanced antennas that can improve coverage and end-user experience and reduce the energy consumption in the radio network.

Master Researcher Calin Curescu has brought his research team’s "Cloud evolution towards 5G" demo to MWC. "5G radio access will support whole new performance-critical use cases. Then the core network has to match that, and it should also use cloud flexibility and automation to reduce OPEX and TTM."

"We’re presenting an evolved cloud architecture to support NFV deployment and runtime management. We show a detailed demo for automated NFV deployment for enterprise connectivity. We also show a detailed demo for runtime cloud app session migration triggered by mobility."

A large model railway is used to bring alive not only one, but two concepts on display.


One is Evolved capillary networks, using short-range radio technologies to connect groups of small devices to the Internet, via capillary gateways and cellular networks. Jan Melén and Nicklas Beijar explain: "We demo large-scale (group) management to simplify operations and we demo Distributed Virtualization. That’s bringing the cloud further to the edges of the network to make it possible to handle low latency control loops using the mobile network."

Knowledge management for industry and society also uses the freight train example for their demo of how automation will help increase efficiency of managing complex systems and create new business values. Many other future applications for I&S will include a large number of devices and the same principles can be applied to a diversity of other industries sharing similar requirements.

Network Analytics

The Network near analytics station shows how we can bring analytics out to the network nodes. This creates new possibilities by closing the gap between analytics and network functions. An example: analytics learns that it’s important for you to watch video on the morning train and may estimate your satisfaction level with the service. Then the network could automatically optimize the service for you.

The demo is done with real network data and shows how easy it is to reconfigure and customize the network for different use cases.

Software based networking has a lot of advantages – it possible to combine with high performance? Can it really support very demanding applications? It’s not obvious and is not a trivial task – but the team behind the SDN virtual switching demo is showing that it can be done. Visitors are able to see 100 Gbits/sec on a single server!

The Ericsson-led European lighthouse project METIS, the first comprehensive research project on 5G, is also present in the Ericsson Research area. METIS will show an overview of their five 5G scenarios – which are being referenced world-wide – and the 5G concept addressing them. On show is also a demo of device-to-device communication, performed by research partner Aalto University, Helsinki, which shows how user-traffic capacity can be increased in a local area without increasing the network load.


The transformation to the Networked Society, with novel services and devices, will require a lot from the networks. Radio access technologies, cloud, network virtualization, analytics and management are among key technologies for these future communication networks. The 10 demos in the Ericsson Research area at MWC2015 show hands-on that it’s emerging now – we’re on the road to 5G.