Swisscom, in partnership with Ericsson and handset maker OPPO, has successfully carried out 5G voice and data calls over a commercial 5G standalone network, the vendor said in a release.
Ericsson said that all of Europe’s live 5G networks are deployed in 5G non-standalone mode, but noted that most, if not all, 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) deployments are expected to make the transition to 5G Standalone (SA) mode.
The 5G SA architecture will enable new opportunities for innovation for use cases such as augmented- and virtual reality (AR/VR), smart factories, and connected vehicles.
The Swiss operator recently carried out live 5G SA voice and data calls using Voice over New Radio (VoNR) and carrier aggregation along with Ericsson Spectrum Sharing. The calls were made on Ericsson 5G Radio Dot, 5G core and IMS deployed on Ericsson NFVI, using the smartphones OPPO Find X2 Pro and OPPO Reno 4Z 5G with two different chipsets.
By combining FDD spectrum and TDD spectrum, Ericsson’s 5G carrier aggregation solution will boost 5G coverage and capacity, the vendor said.
“The future of 5G services will be centered around 5G standalone networks, and by investing in 5G standalone, we are also investing in new opportunities for Switzerland, such as through network slicing and dedicated on-premises 5G deployments,” said Christoph Aeschlimann, CTO at Swisscom.
“Together with Swisscom, we’ve launched the first commercial 5G network in Europe. This 5G Standalone achievement is an important step towards unleashing the full potential of 5G,” said Arun Bansal, president of Europe and Latin America at Ericsson. “Our reliable, secure and flexible 5G standalone architecture will enable Swisscom to develop and offer innovative use cases, driving digital transformation in Switzerland with our fantastic ecosystem of partners.”
Swisscom’s 5G network already reaches over 90% of the country’s population. The carrier’s network was commercially launched in April 2019 using equipment from Ericsson. Initially, the new technology was launched 54 cities and communities in Switzerland, including Zürich, Bern, Geneva, Basel, Lausanne and Lucerne.
Swisscom used Ericsson’s spectrum sharing software, which shares spectrum between 4G and 5G carriers based on traffic demand to reach nationwide 5G coverage with 5G-ready 4G radios.
In February 2019, Switzerland’s Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) had raised CHF380 million (currently $429.6 million) after it awarded 5G frequencies to local mobile operators Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom.
Salt secured 20 megahertz in the 700 MHz band, 80 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band and 10 megahertz in the 1.4 GHz range.
Sunrise, recently acquired by Liberty Global, purchased 10 megahertz in the 700 MHz band, 100 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz range and 15 megahertz in the 1.4 GHz band. The carrier also secured an additional 10 megahertz in the 700 MHz band.
Meanwhile, Swisscom secured 30 megahertz in the 700 MHz band, 120 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band and 50 megahertz in the 1.4 GHz band.
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