Ericsson Unveils New Mobile Broadband Solutions, Details Efforts with AWS & Cisco

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  March 31, 2016

Telecom infrastructure giant Ericsson (News - Alert) has unveiled a handful of new mobile broadband solutions aimed at delivering LTE at peak rates of 1Gbps, enabling communications service providers to deliver more consistent and targeted solutions to customers, and helping those CSPs get solutions to market more quickly and efficiently. The company also offered an update on its relationship with Cisco, with which it created the Ericsson Dynamic Service Manager, a solution using intellectual property from both businesses. Ericsson also is building an engineering and services team to help service providers more easily leverage Amazon Web Services Cloud.

The new solutions include hardware and software additions to the Ericsson Radio System. The introduction of 4x4 MIMO technology via these solutions doubles the number of data paths, and increases downlink data rates. Ericsson also is delivering support for new spectrum bands, including the use of 60MHz. And it has implemented 256 QAM and Ericsson Lean Carrier technology, which reduces excessive signaling in the network as well as interference. The company will also introduce a new microwave backhaul solution that is multi-band and multi-gigabit. The solutions mentioned here are slated for availability beginning in the second quarter.

Ericsson says the “Extreme App Coverage” that will enable will serve to move “today’s LTE (News - Alert) networks to 5G and represent the world’s first commercial gigabit LTE downlink data speeds and hyperscale radio access network architecture for cloud RAN.” For customers, that will translate into better performance that will allow, for example, an entire series of programming to be downloaded in just 30 to 45 seconds. End user bandwidth rates on networks based on this new 1Gbps technology will vary depending on the number of users in a cell at any time, but Ericsson said it should easily translate to 100Mbps end user rates. However, before that’s possible, cellular handset manufacturers will need to support 256 QAM and the required carrier spectrum aggregation, Ericsson explained, adding that it is working closely with leading handset manufacturers on that.

Also this quarter, Ericsson plans to make generally available a series of capabilities it is offering under the umbrella of Mobile Broadband for Everyone. That includes the Mobile Broadband Expander, which lowers total cost of ownership by up to 60 percent; a WCDMA Flow of Users capability, which can double network performance on existing carrier infrastructure; and Zero Touch WCDMA, which promises to increase the operational efficiency of networks by three times.

Meanwhile, Ericsson is working with Verizon (News - Alert) on 5G field trials that can support multi-gigabit speeds.

To allow for Experience Centric Managed Services, as Ericsson refers to it, the company has also made available the Service Operations Center and the Experience Management Center. The SOC monitors the performance of services such as video streaming and web browsing in real time, which is translated and correlated into network performance requirements. The EMC (News - Alert) monitors consumers’ experiences and perception through, for example, customer surveys, social media analytics, Net Performer Score studies and churn analysis, which is translated and correlated into service performance requirements.

Ericsson also unveiled a new billing support system called Revenue Manager. This solution aims to give CSPs the agility and automation they need to quickly create and bill for new and changing product packages. Revenue Manager 16 will be generally available starting in June. It has traditionally taken CSPs months or even years to bring new products to the market, says Henrik Broén, sales director of business support solutions at Ericsson. But with Revenue Manager, he says, they can bring new solutions to market within days. Revenue Manager, he adds, also can reduce CSP operational expenditures by 30 percent, lower customization costs by up to 50 percent, and scale to support from 50,000 to more than 500 million subscribers.

As for the Ericsson Dynamic Service Manager, it enables service providers to dynamically configure, monitor, and optimize network resources available to applications, and it works in multi-vendor, multi-domain network environments. It leverages Ericsson's OSS and network management technology and Cisco's work in enterprise VPNs, IP, and multi-vendor mobile backhaul. The solution, which is pre-integrated with Ericsson and Cisco network devices and domain management solutions, allows for capacity planning, policy management, and software-defined networking.

Ericsson’s alliance with AWS, meanwhile, involves the company opening cloud innovation centers with customers (like Telstra (News - Alert), the first to host such a center) and establishing a team to help service providers with AWS implementations.

Speaking of professional services, Ericsson is also providing them as part of its newly unveiled IoT Transformation offering, which also includes software for operators to deliver Internet of Things solutions. Also on the IoT front, Ericsson is working with AT&T to bring its Digital Life home automation and security offerings to service providers outside of the U.S.

Edited by Maurice Nagle