The Cloud RAN solution supports Ericsson Spectrum Sharing and 5G SA and NSA
Ericsson has announced Cloud RAN (Radio Access Network), a new solution to be released in 2021, that the company said will add greater flexibility and versatility to operator’s network buildouts, as well as deliver an advanced level of openness and innovation.
Per Narvinger, head of product area networks at Ericsson, explained to RCR Wireless News that one of the most significant aspects of the launch is that it will be done so incrementally, allowing service providers to incrementally add Cloud RAN capabilities as a complement to their existing purpose-built 5G networks. This, Narvinger said, will give them the time needed to prepare for the “technically challenging” journey of virtualization.
“We’ve started with our 5G low-band product and then there will be more offerings further down the line, but our sentiment is that it will take our customers time to get ready for this,” he said. “We are announcing this to trigger our customers to get ready for this, even if the actual products won’t be deployed until the end of next year.”
More specifically, the first stage includes Ericsson’s Cloud RAN application software Cloud RAN DU and Cloud RAN CU, which allows for a highly capable and flexible 5G network architecture. In addition, the company has announced new Radio Gateways, enabling a full utilization of the installed base of remote radios.
“These products set the foundation for future mid-band rollouts,” stated the press release.
The solution is also fully compatible with the Ericsson Radio System portfolio, and supports Ericsson Spectrum Sharing and 5G standalone and non-standalone.
Narvinger stated that Ericsson’s Cloud RAN solution will address a number of 5G use cases including indoor segments of the network, as well as enterprise uses cases, and possibly even stadiums.
“The solution allows for easy scale-up and scale-down,” he added.
When using the Cloud RAN new solution, service providers can use web-scale technology, benefiting from the cloud-native design from application to infrastructure, leading to greater scalability and faster time-to-market for new services.
Narvinger also discussed what makes 5G so ideal for this level of innovation and openness, commenting, “5G has been designed in such a way that its lower latency and high resilience will enable new use cases.”
However, he added that when it comes to industry 4.0 and some different industry verticals, for example, that “part of 5G” has yet to truly materialized.
“Our customers have been deploying 5G and in one way that is very valuable. You can leverage it for traditional mobile broadband traffic, but at the same time, explore new use cases. And one way to make that more flexible is to bring in the cloud paradigm,” he continued.
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