Ericsson Enhances Radio Platform, Bridges 4G to 5G; also Launches UHDTV Platform

On heels of 5G and Small Cells News, announces (UHD) TV decoder for IBC 2017

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) introduces a new radio product, AIR 3246, for Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (Massive MIMO), which is a complement to Ericsson’s global 5G radio offering. AIR 3246 supports both 4G/LTE and 5G NR (New Radio) technologies and is Ericsson’s first 5G NR radio for frequency division duplex (FDD). This launch will enable operators – especially in metropolitan areas – to bring 5G to subscribers using today’s mid-band spectrum and boost capacity in their LTE networks.

Ericsson’s 5G Platform includes three previously launched time division duplex (TDD) radios capable of supporting 5G and Massive MIMO, as well as core, transport, digital support and security elements. The company has the most complete 5G portfolio in the industry, serving the needs of the first movers in 5G.

Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson, says: “We now expand the 5G platform that we introduced last February. The new radio will enable operators to enhance 4G capacity for their subscribers today and be ready for 5G tomorrow, using the same hardware. We also complement the products with a set of network services, simplifying the journey to 5G for our customers.”

Bridging from 4G to 5G

People are watching, sharing and streaming video and music more than ever. As such, the demands on a sufficient speed are ever increasing. Ericsson analyzed 4G network performance statistics from metropolitan areas around the world, and found that the probability of a smart device suffering from insufficient speed can be as high as 20 percent during peak hours. Massive MIMO is a key technology to bridge from 4G to 5G, adding intelligent capacity and boosting user experience.

Stefan Pongratz, Senior Director at the Dell’Oro Group, says: “Just as carrier aggregation has been key to adding needed capacity to mobile broadband networks, Massive MIMO has the potential to be the primary capacity enabler in the next upgrade phase, providing a smooth transition towards 5G. With an expected 2021 installed base of 10M LTE macro radios in high traffic and metro areas, service providers are expected to capitalize on the improved spectral efficiency made possible with Massive MIMO.”

FDD Massive MIMO is part of a trial with T-Mobile US, on three sites in Baltimore, Maryland. This will be the first time that standardized Massive MIMO will be used to carry commercial LTE traffic using mid-band FDD spectrum.

Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile, says: “T-Mobile’s racing forward at breakneck pace with Ericsson’s next-gen tech that advances LTE today and paves the way for 5G tomorrow. While the carriers scramble to prop up networks caving under the weight of unlimited, the Un-carrier’s rolling out advanced technologies to massively increase network capacity and data throughput for customers. Translation – we’re making America’s best unlimited network even better!”

Massive MIMO on FDD can increase network capacity up to three times and bring up to five times better user throughput, boosting performance for the end users. Today’s global base is primarily on FDD technology and devices, which separates uplink and downlink streams on different radio frequencies.

Commercially available in the second quarter 2018, AIR 3246 will be part of Ericsson Radio System.

5G Services – preparation to launch

Complementing the 5G core transformation services introduced earlier this year, Ericsson is now launching a set of services helping operators on the road to 5G in three steps: Prepare, Mobilize and Launch. The services entail: Prepare for the first crucial stepsbased on learnings from Ericsson’s trials around the world; mobilize by setting up the technical and operational resources necessary for a successful 5G launch; and launch 5G services through complete and rapid network rollout and ensure smooth operations of the services. These new 5G services use Ericsson’s Engineered Intelligence approach, which builds on the best of human and machine capabilities and are supported by automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence tools.

Ericsson’s 5G platform comprises the 5G core, radio and transport portfolios, together with OSS, BSS, network services and security.

Next week, Ericsson also will launch MediaFirst Content Processing, the industry’s first software-based, multi-application platform, at IBC 2017 (booth #1.D61). The platform is designed from the ground up with high quality, full performance video processing capabilities specifically for the contribution market.

Ericsson MediaFirst Content Processing answers the growing industry need for greater flexibility, superior low latency, and the ability to repurpose processing functions to efficiently deliver new and increasingly immersive video experiences.

The first application designed by Ericsson for the platform is UHDTV HEVC contribution decoding. By combining the flexibilities of COTS servers with Ericsson hardware acceleration, service providers can efficiently future proof media processing applications.

Paired with Ericsson’s AVP HEVC contribution encoders, MediaFirst Content Processing provides the best end-to-end solution for UHDTV or HD HEVC contribution with optimal picture quality and latency. The solution supports today’s connectivity needs, with either ASI or IP inputs and 4:2:0 or 4:2:2, 8-bit or 10-bit uncompressed outputs via a range of industry standard connections.

Arpad Jordan, Head of Media Processing & Delivery, Media Solutions at Ericsson, says: “MediaFirst Content Processing is the industry’s first software-based, multi-application media processing platform that is developed specifically for the contribution market. This innovation will offer a way for contribution service providers to deliver revenue generating, immersive viewing experiences like UHDTV at an affordable cost. Better yet, they will be able to repurpose media processing applications and optimize cloud architectures.”

Future applications will be designed beyond decoding to support emerging contribution use cases and enable the benefits of cloud within a Distributed Cloud Contribution architecture.

Discover Ericsson at IBC Show 2017

Ericsson is an award-winning, global leader in TV and media products and services, with a proven track record in delivering TV and media business transformation for over 25 years. Working with customers around the world, we offer an extensive portfolio of products and services through our Media Solutions and Broadcast and Media Services businesses that span media enrichment, processing, publishing and delivery.

Join us at IBC on Booth # 1.D61 and Balcony Suite BS27 or online during the event from September 15-19. See you there!

Ericsson is a world leader in communications technology and services with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Our organization consists of more than 111,000 experts who have provided customers in 180 countries with innovative solutions and services. Together we are building a more connected future where anyone and any industry is empowered to reach their full potential. Net sales in 2016 were SEK 222.6 billion (USD 24.5 billion). Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX stock exchange in Stockholm and the NASDAQ in New York. Read more on www.ericsson.com.