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Ericsson releases dynamic spectrum sharing into the wild

Proprietary software that allows radios to alternate between 4G and 5G on the same spectrum is now available to Ericsson’s customers.

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, as the vendor calls it, is positioned as a big deal because it allows a smooth transition from 4G to 5G and spares operators the agony of having to choose between them. Not only does it allow a given 4G radio to serve up 5G when it feels like it, the switching happens dynamically and takes a mere millisecond to complete.

We’ve got no idea how useful a feature this is to operators, but Ericsson says 80% of its customers that are testing it plan to deploy it in the next year. How many customers that amounts to isn’t stated but we know there are at least four because Ericsson got them to provide supportive quotes.

“ESS is key for a fast adoption of 5G,” said Christoph Aeschlimann, Head of IT, Network & Infrastructure Group division at Swisscom. “It’s a win-win approach for customers and operators. Customers benefit from 5G in no time and operators use their precious spectrum in a most efficient manner. We are proud of being part of the ESS journey from the very beginning. In the meantime, we already reached a nationwide coverage with 90 percent of the population with 5G.”

“Ericsson Spectrum Sharing will continue to play a crucial role in helping Telstra pave the way for a faster rollout of 5G, allowing us to serve the needs of 4G and 5G customers in the same location at the same time,” said Channa Seneviratne, Network and Engineering Infrastructure Executive at Telstra. “These milestones are especially important for Telstra and the Australian landscape, where expanding 5G coverage over wide areas quickly and efficiently are key to providing more Australians with access to 5G services.”

“As we take the next leap into being connected, Ericsson Spectrum Sharing comes as a unique innovation that dynamically shares spectrum between 4G and 5G carriers based on traffic demand,” said Waleed Al Sayed, CEO of Ooredoo Qatar. “This enables us, as mobile operators, to use our spectrum assets efficiently by driving 5G-wide coverage roll-out quickly, smoothly and cost efficiently. This will help us achieve our strategic objectives, enabling us to enhance our customers’ internet experience and enrich their digital lives.”

“The 5G network in Legionowo is yet another proof of Play’s technological advancement in 5G and an important milestone in our strategy to continuously expand and modernize our network,” said Jean Marc Harion, CEO of Poland’s Play. “With Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, we are taking a significant step towards being ready for commercial introduction of 5G when the devices become available.”

Of course Ericsson had to say stuff too. “For the first time, our customers do not have to re-farm spectrum before deploying a new ‘G’ and can quickly get 5G on the same footprint as they have with 4G today,” said Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Networks at Ericsson. “In the next 12 months, more than 80 percent of the commercial 5G networks we support will use our spectrum sharing solution to achieve broad 5G coverage.”

Even analyst house Omdia, of which Ovum is now part, got involved in the quote-fest. “Spectrum is a scarce and costly resource that should be used efficiently,” said Julian Bright of Omdia. “Ericsson Spectrum Sharing will mean that service providers can rapidly roll out 5G on their FDD bands without the need to re-invest. It means they can use both their new and existing bands for 5G high-speed, high-capacity services. Dynamically allocating spectrum between 4G and 5G is going to be the best way to start deploying 5G.”

What more could we possibly add? Having got it launched last year, the big kit vendors seem to have embarked on a fresh 5G technology arms race with each claiming uniquely handy features. The commercial availability of ESS comes hot on the heels of Nokia’s network slicing announcement and Huawei’s recent big product reveal. It looks like operators are spoilt for choice.

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2 comments

    • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 27/02/2020 @ 1:04 pm

      Interesting, thanks.

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