According to Ericsson, its ultra-lightweight antenna integrated radio, model AIR 3268, at 26 pounds and a volume of 6 gallons, is the lightest and smallest massive MIMO radio. With 200 watts of output power, 32 transceivers and passive cooling, the radio weighs about 40 percent less than the earlier generation, making installations easy not only on towers and rooftops, but also on poles and walls, according to Ericsson.
Ericsson said it designed the radio for easier and efficient 5G mid-band deployments in dense urban and suburban areas. It helps accelerate 5G mid-band deployment for communications service providers seeking to boost capacity, coverage, speeds and mobile experiences for their subscribers, the company said.
The radio is 10 percent more energy-efficient than the earlier generation, lowering the total added power consumption when introducing 5G on mid-band, according to the manufacturer. Ericsson also said it also supports the company’s massive MIMO architecture and uplink booster capabilities.
Ericsson said it developed modelAIR 3268 in partnership with BT to address 5G challenges. Through the development process, Ericsson said, the ultra-lightweight radio has been designed for 5G mid-band massive MIMO performance to deliver the benefits of deployment simplicity and improved energy efficiency.
Greg McCall, managing director of service platforms at BT Group, said that the 3.5 GHz band and massive MIMO technology are important to BT’s 5G network strategy to deliver the best customer experience in urban areas.
“We continue to add capacity within our market-leading 5G coverage, but to maximize our ability to deploy this technology, we need to minimize the burden on our site infrastructure,” he said. “BT is pleased to be working with Ericsson on this product, which is less than half the size and weight of our current solution, reducing wind loading on existing sites and providing potential for adding 3.5 GHz massive MIMO in new locations. The reduced power consumption will help BT deliver on our sustainability ambition.”
David Hammarwall, head of product line radio at Ericsson, said that the company continues to revolutionize massive MIMO with ultra-lightweight radios that allow easier site upgrades and more seamless 5G mid-band deployments.
“AIR 3268 widens the options for the radio site, allowing service providers to boost their networks and deliver faster 5G speeds and response times,” Hammerwall said. “It is also energy-efficient, which is important to us and our customers.”
According to Ericsson, model AIR 3268, with its size and weight, will simplify upgrades and new site acquisitions even in locations where footprint may prove challenging. The new radio also supports Ericsson’s mini bracket, to provide lower total weight and ease installations, the company said.