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5G standardization

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.

Contributing from the start

We have been deeply involved in all areas of the 5G standardization process from the start. Our researchers had a clear vision of what 5G could become already way back in 2010 and 2011. Read our blog posts and go deeper into a selection of important 5G standards achievements.

5G evolution toward 5G advanced

3GPP release 18 – the first release of 5G Advanced! Artificial intelligence and eXtended Reality enhancements will enable highly intelligent network solutions to support a wider variety of use cases than ever before.

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5G radio access

5G wireless capabilities are expected to extend far beyond previous generations of mobile communication. And NR 5G standardization, along with the evolution of the existing LTE standard, will help achieve the same. The aim of 5G is much wider than enhanced mobile broadband and will have to meet aggressive performance targets. Some of the key technology components to reach these targets include flexible numerology and ultra-lean transmissions.

Flexible numerology with x*15kHz sub-carriers will result in good co-existence with LTE and NB-IoT, as well as very low latencies. Ultra-lean design enables future-proof and self-contained data transmissions as well as reduced interference to neighbor sites. The latter implies higher overall system capacity and enables higher end-user data rates as this would otherwise be limited by the interference from the "un-necessary" interference from the neighbor sites. The first version of NR was ready by the end of 2017, but the planning of the same started a long time ago.

5G core

Ericsson is driving next-generation core networks in the 5G standardization for business environments, making it noticeably advanced from today's networks. One example in Ericsson's 5G core is the concept of network slicing providing significant enhancements to address new business opportunities. Another example is the introduction of, what we call, distributed cloud infrastructure. Industries are changing and with that data-intensive applications are changing too. We see a need to create a more decentralized infrastructure with compute and storage closer to the end customer, or the device. There are many reasons for this, which are not only latency related but also about regulatory compliance, resilience, and network scalability.

Ericsson is a strong advocate and driver of the integrated model for 5G Fixed Mobile Convergence. It includes the extension of the control plane into the home, exposing new value to the consumer. Enhanced automation is another key to realize efficient 5G networks as well as digitalization of the operator's business. Ericsson is in close cooperation with leading operators on the journey towards zero-touch operation.

Operators and vendors are on a journey towards cloud-native implementations of the 5G core network. And Ericsson is one of the main proponents of the Rel-16 eSBA study, that aims to further adapt the 3GPP specifications to cloud-native implementation and deployments.

5G security

Better privacy and identity protection of subscribers is becoming more and more important for every organization that deals with personal date. 5G networks can further enhance security; one example is Ericsson's solution to improve subscriber untraceability, based on asymmetric encryption methods. By this, Ericsson laid the ground for improved privacy in the 5G standardization. We are also working to ensure that secure identities for IoT solutions become available to users and developers across different sectors and ecosystems. This we do by implementing flexible identity management, where different types of credentials suitable for constrained or more powerful devices can co-exist. Moreover, it will also function over a variety of access types – including secure storage technologies of credentials in devices.

5G sustainability

Ericsson is driving the shift from "always on" to "always available" in the 5G standardization for enabling high energy savings, without impacting other network KPI:s. To achieve this Ericsson has successfully pushed for ultra-lean design, where the basic principle is to avoid network transmission as much as possible when there is no data to transmit, and functionalities that can be dynamically activated on a per-need basis. This enables equipment to enter more extensive, or deeper, sleep-mode levels.