Ericsson Research Blog

Research, Insights and Technology Reflections

Robust Scrambling for NB-IoT Broadcast Channels

Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is a new cellular technology designed to provide wide-area coverage for IoT. It was introduced in 3GPP Release 13 and is expected that many commercial NB-IoT networks will be launched in 2017. Here, on the Ericsson Research blog, we shall provide a brief explanation for the rationale of a change request (CR) approved in 3GPP RAN meeting #75 in March 2017 for the enhancement of the robustness of NB-IoT broadcast channels when it comes to inter-cell interference – when NB-IoT is deployed inside a frame-synchronized LTE network. The approved CRs are mandatory and non-backward compatible. Introducing such CRs is possible considering that NB-IoT deployments had not yet occurred on a widespread basis. The approved CR preserves robust NB-IoT performance when deployed in an LTE network that also supports features such as Multicast-Broadcast Single-Frequency Network (MBSFN) or Positioning Reference Signal (PRS), which require frame-synchronization across cells to ensure good performance in practice.

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Enhanced 4G LTE coverage for Machine-Type Communications and Internet of Things

Support for Machine-Type Communications (MTC) and Internet of Things (IoT) in cellular networks is being drastically improved with the recent launches of products based on 3GPP Release 13. Improvements have been introduced in both 2G GSM networks and 4G LTE networks as well as in the form of a new radio interface optimized for narrow frequency band allocations. These are referred to as EC-GSM, LTE-M and NB-IoT, respectively. In this blog post we focus on the 4G LTE improvements for MTC/IoT known as LTE-M in the areas of low device cost, long battery life, and deep coverage.

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How do you create a new ‘G’? Like 5G

Have you ever thought about how a new ‘G’ is created?

5G is the next generation in mobile communications, addressing a wide range of use cases. An integral part of 5G is today’s 4G, and, therefore, those at the forefront of 4G technologies are also more likely to lead the introduction of 5G. This is certainly true of Ericsson – we’ve taken the lead in creating previous generations of technology, and our patent portfolio covers 2G, 3G and 4G. Now, through a continuation of our pioneering research and technology development, we’re ready to advance business and society in more innovative ways than ever before, with the introduction of 5G.

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Narrowband IoT standardization soon finalized

A new NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) standard will get us a radio technology that supports massive deployment of IoT devices. It will meet tough requirements on low device complexity and very low battery consumption, as well as extend the coverage range substantially compared to other 3GPP technologies.

Last week, about 40 participants from several companies attended the 3GPP RAN4 meeting in Kista, Sweden with the objective to advance the NB-IoT standard.

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On the road to 5G

At Ericsson Research, we are now preparing for the big industry event – the Mobile World Congress – taking place in Barcelona next week. 5G is of course on everybody’s lips and will be a central part of the congress itself. It will also be the main theme for the demos we will present there.

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5G now started in 3GPP

Work on next-generation wireless access, commonly referred to as 5G, has officially started in 3GPP with the 5G workshop – attended by a record number of 500 technical leaders. The workshop was held in conjunction with the RAN plenary in Phoenix, AZ, USA, where a study item on channel modelling for frequencies up to 100 GHz was approved.

In this blog post I will share some reflections on the workshop.

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Indoor positioning in LTE

Regulatory requirements on emergency call positioning have historically been based on horizontal accuracy for outdoor terminals. However, most emergency calls are made from wireless phones and from indoor locations. Therefore, the American FCC (Federal Communications Commission) launched new requirements in February of this year, to address indoor accuracy requirements in particular. 3GPP, the standardization organization behind LTE, is finalizing a study on how well LTE can meet the requirements in some considered scenarios, and what possible enhancements can be made in future LTE and WCDMA releases.

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LAA specification work starting in 3GPP

A global standard for Licensed Assisted Access is agreed to be included in Release-13, the next release of the LTE specifications by standardization organization 3GPP. Fair co-existence with other technologies operating in unlicensed spectrum is a fundamental design principle for LAA. Extensive investigations of how LAA can co-existence with itself and Wi-Fi systems have been done over the last 9 months within 3GPP. This together with a continued large industry interest formed the basis for the decision to start a work item. This blog post will give you some important details about the study and its results.

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