The 5G standardization process is highly innovative and complex. Ericsson’s pioneering research and early collaborations with academia and other industries provide essential input for developing a standard that meets the needs of different industries, and the society.
Ericsson is deeply involved in all areas, ensuring aggressive performance targets of the end to end system in the 5G standardization work. By the time we reach wide-scale deployment in 2020, Ericsson is ready to advance business and society on their digitalization journey. Below we are highlighting some of Ericsson's key contributions that we are particularly proud of and that will have a great impact on the 5G system performance:
- 5G new radio (NR) enabling very aggressive radio interface performance targets thanks to flexible and scalable numerology compatible with LTE and ultra-lean transmissions
- 5G security with improved subscriber untraceability, protection of subscriber identities and subscriber privacy as well as flexible identity management where different types of credentials can co-exist and function over a variety of access types
- 5G sustainability with a fundamental change of design principles from "always on" to "always available" for high energy savings
- 5G core with the concept of network slicing and distributed cloud for business environment that is significantly different from that of today
5G radio access
The capabilities of 5G wireless access must extend far beyond previous generations of mobile communication and will be realized by the New Radio (NR) 5G standardization as well as the evolution of the existing LTE standard. 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 will be ready by the end of 2017 but the thinking behind started a long time ago.
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Ericsson is driving next-generation core networks in the 5G standardization for business environments that is significantly different from that of today. One example is Ericsson's introduction of the concept network slicing, enabling operators to provide customized networks for different business purposes. Another example is the introduction of, what we call, distributed cloud infrastructure. New industrial grade, data-intensive applications create the need for more decentralized infrastructure with compute and storage closer to the end customer or device. There are many reasons for this not only latency related, it is also about regulatory compliance, resilience, and network scalability.
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Ericsson is making sure 5G networks are even better protecting subscriber identity and privacy. One example is Ericsson's solution to improve subscriber untraceability, based on asymmetric encryption methods and by this Ericsson laid the ground for improved privacy in the 5G standardization. Another example is Ericsson's work to ensure that secure identities for IoT solutions become available to users and developers across different sectors and ecosystems. This by an implementation of flexible identity management where different types of credentials suitable for constrained or more powerful devices can co-exist and function over a variety of access types also including secure storage technologies of credentials in devices.
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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.