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Tag Archives: Ericsson

AT&T, Sprint Mark 5G Milestones

By J. Sharpe Smith

Senior Editor
AGL eDigest

With the race to 5G officially on, two U.S. carriers, AT&T and Sprint, this week proudly announced their first achievements in this new frontier of wireless connectivity. Verizon Wireless is field testing at 28 GHz, but has not reported results, and T-Mobile plans trials in the second half of 2016 in the 28 GHz band, as well.



“Each of these trials is looking at better understanding the new techniques and possibilities of 5G and learning from them,” said Chris Pearson, president, 5G Americas. “All the major nationwide carriers have laid out their plans for 5G testing, each being a little different.”

AT&T reached speeds above 10 gigabits per second in early 5G tests with Ericsson, and it is now working with Nokia to expand its 5G lab trial work into system and software architecture in Middletown, New Jersey, Atlanta and San Ramon, California.

“We’ve seen great results in our 5G lab trials,” said Tom Keathley, senior vice president – wireless network architecture and design, AT&T. “Nokia is joining to help us test millimeter wave, which we expect to play a key role in 5G development and deployment.” The OEM is supplying test equipment for a variety of 5G technology building blocks and features.

In addition to reaching multi-gigabit speeds, the carrier’s initial 5G lab trials also simulate
real-world environment conditions, such as data spikes similar to a concert or football game.

Sprint Gets its Kicks with 5G

The other major announcement this week was Sprint’s demonstration of 5G at the 2016 Copa América Centenario tournament in Santa Clara, California.

The system used 73 GHz millimeter wavelength spectrum to deliver peak download speeds of more than 2 Gbps, which the soccer fans used to stream 4K high-def video and to view live streaming virtual reality from VideoStitch with low-millisecond latency.

Additionally, the system used beam switching, a method of tracking the device, selecting the best antennas, and sending their signals to targeted locations.

Can the 3GPP Standards Process Keep Up?

In the past it has been pretty easy for OEMs to develop their own proprietary technology, creating an alphabet soup past of acronyms. But it appears that the unity found in LTE continues to be the rule.

“All of the carriers are looking to contributed to the standards process what they learn,” Pearson. “As long as we don’t get ahead of ourselves and promise things to customers before the ecosystem is built, the tests and trials are very much a help to the carriers as they provide input to our association and the 3GPP standards process.”

AT&T said it is structuring its 5G trials to contribute to the international 5G standards development so it easily become compliant commercial deployments once standards are set by 3GPP.

“The work coming out of AT&T Labs will pave the way toward future international 5G standards and allow us to deliver these fast 5G speeds and network performance,” Heathley said. “We expect 3GPP will likely complete the first phase of standards-setting process in 2018.”

On the other side of the water, Belgium is getting on board with 5G as the country’s telecom minister has authorized their Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications to find spectrum that could be temporarily allocated to mobile operators and research centers looking to carry out 5G trials. According to reports, the regulator is currently working with Ericsson to analyze the most suitable bands for 5G technology.

“There are a lot of tests and trials being performed around the world, including Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. A lot of governments are working closely with these carriers. But I think the North American region is in fine shape in terms of 5G development and the timing of the technology trials,” Pearson said.

Ericsson Gung Ho About LTE-U Demo; Maybe Too Much?

By Ernest Worthman

Despite the ongoing issues between LTE-U and Wi-Fi, LTE-U is continuing to gain ground. Ericsson, working with one of its partners showed it can be done. Ericsson and Telefonica have succeeded in putting on a live demo that included over the air (OTA) delivery on an LTE-U pico cell platform from Ericsson in the 5 GHz band. According to Ericsson, this demonstration, combined with the enhancements to its indoor radio portfolio, represent a milestone in the development of LTE-U.

While Ericsson is pretty gung-ho on LTE-U, not everyone is as sold on LTE-U as they are. There is still a fair amount of controversy over the coexistence of it with Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi Alliance is still working to develop a test plan that will ensure fair coexistence among LTE and Wi-Fi devices. But Ericsson is being a bit bully-ish about the Wi-Fi Alliance’s slow progress. Among other things, they told the FCC in a recent meeting, that the Alliance’s revisions to the test plan include tests that do not pertain to Wi-Fi coexistence and that other tests are not technology neutral.

Ericsson has a lot to lose if the LTE-U technology is forced to use some sort of listen-before-talk mechanism, rather than proximity solutions, so it doesn’t walk all over the Wi-Fi systems. Ericsson is going full steam with LTE-U, they have more than 20 LTE-U trials underway in a variety of places, including the United States. They have a vested interest in seeing it go the way it is.

I have to side with the Alliance on this one. LTE-U, as is, is kind of like the school yard bully – coming in late to a yard full of kids playing nice. If one is nearby, one is likely to get pummeled. LTE-U needs to learn to play nice, whatever it takes to modify the transmission scheme. If that happens, Ericsson is going to have to spend some money to fix it.

Small Cells: the State of the Platform

By Ernest Worthman —



April 23, 2015 — Last issue I penned a missive on the state of small cells. I guess I am not the only one looking at the small cell landscape and wondering about the state of the platform. I recently came across some interesting metrics that make sense along the road to small cell deployment and making the small cell picture a bit clearer.

The first one being carrier small cells. Two things here are a given. Licensed spectrum will continue to be under the crunch gun, regardless of the evolution of the “Gs,” and macro cells will never be able to cover the world.

Extrapolating, small cells will be the great equalizer. In a recent statement, Verizon CTO Tony Melone, said small cell deployments will be an increasingly cost-effective way to add capacity while at the same time improving cell-edge performance and thus further increasing the value of the spectrum we hold. He went on to say that as small cell technology is improving and backhaul issues are worked out, small cells will move forward.

Next, enterprises are beginning to see the value in small cell deployments. That is significant because now they will put dollars into it. Building owners, hospitals, sports and entertainment venues are feeling the pressure to have ubiquitous wireless connectivity within the premises. And, once the small cell network is in place, MNOs are also seeing the value in connecting that network to theirs. It is a win-win for the enterprise and the MNO.

And, vendors are coming to the table with integrated solutions, not just products. That is a sure sign that they are seeing dollars. Here’s why; Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia have announced plans to merge next year. Nokia has acquired a strong small cell deployment capability in the United States with its recent purchase of SAC Wireless. The company’s program for carriers is called Services for HetNets.

Ericsson has launched Small Cells as a Service (SCaaS) to facilitate deployments for carriers. The network equipment giant wants to deploy small cell networks that will serve multiple carriers from a single location.

And Huawei is partnering with facilities owners that can provide location, power and backhaul for small cell deployments. The company calls its solution Crowd-sourcing Small Cells, and incorporates an open platform which supports third-party interfaces.

Next, the move to higher frequencies is in full swing (see the FCC short below). The higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength, and the closer the cell. Can you see the obvious here? That is a sure recipe for densification of cells, and small ones are the only logical solution.

Plus, In ABI’s recent report on the small cell backhaul market pegs the dollars at $4 billion in five years. “We believe that 4G / LTE small cell solutions will again drive most of the microwave, millimeter wave and sub 6-GHz backhaul growth in metropolitan, urban and suburban areas with backhaul for 4G/LTE small cells growing at double-digit rates and surpassing 3G in this year,” Nick Marshall, research director at ABI Research, wrote.

Finally, someone told me that VoWi-Fi is going to impede the progress of the small cell segment. Hmmm….aren’t Wi-Fi cells small cells? I don’t really see how adding voice to them changes anything… really.

Outdoor enclosure


Outdoor Enclosure

Ericsson has launched a modular all-in-one outdoor enclosure that houses and powers high-capacity mobile broadband sites. Built to complement its RBS 6000 portfolio, the maximum high-capacity configuration houses up to eight digital units, 18 radios and four mini-link hops in a footprint of less than 1.64 square feet or 27.5 inches by 27.5 inches.

The enclosure encapsulates multi-standard radio, transmission, power and climate equipment with savings potential for areas with mild to warm climates. The modular system minimizes footprint, installation time, maintenance and cost. It can be upgraded to fit specific site needs, using tailor-made configurations. The enclosure can also be used as a main unit in a main remote configuration using up to 16 internally installed digital units and up to 18 remote radio units, or a combination of macro and main-remote. www.ericsson.com 

Partnership Unites Small Cells, LEDs


Zero Site

Zero Site

LEDs and small cells have come together in a cutting-edge, yet commonplace, component of everyday city life: streetlights. Two technology giants, Ericsson and Philips, are creating the next generation of energy-efficient street lighting, which also provides connections to wireless networks.


The combo light pole/small cell is the cornerstone of the “networked society,” according to Cecilia de Leeuw, product line site, Ericsson.

“We are turning the infrastructure of the city into a digital device,” de Leeuw said. “You can use the pole for powering your electric car, for example, or embed sensors into the pole, as well as connecting your smart phone or other digital device. There are a lot of things you can do going forward.”

The connected lighting solution, known as Zero Site, integrates telecom equipment into light poles enabling carriers to stealthily deploy small cells in an urban setting. In a lighting-as-a-service model, the municipality will be able to offer space within its connected lighting poles to network service providers for mobile broadband infrastructure. Carriers, working with Ericsson, will be able to rent space in the poles.

The small cells as a service model accelerates the payback time for city infrastructure by making the up-front costs of installing and managing the systems more affordable. Additionally, the city can see energy savings of up to 70 percent using the Philips LED street lighting.

“We are offering lighting as a service that scales with a city’s needs and enables city officials to offer residents a more connected, energy-efficient and safer urban environment, while preserving existing budgets and resources to improve the livability of their city,” Frans van Houten, president and CEO of Philips, said in a statement.