Ericsson launches new portfolio of pre-5G products ahead of MWC

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Ericsson has played its Mobile World Congress hand early, announcing products focused on network coverage, performance and intelligence.

The vendor said it was aiming to bridge the gap between LTE and 5G for operators. Its first product, Mobile Broadband for Everyone, claims to enhance network performance, improve efficiency and lower costs.

Within the solution, Ericsson's WCDMA Flow of Users potentially doubles network performance on existing infrastructure by using software to manage users. Zero Touch WCDMA reduces the need for network configuration, with Ericsson claiming operational efficiency can be trebled.

Finally, the solution's Mobile Broadband Expander enables the reuse of antennas between existing GSM sites and new WCDMA hardware. Ericsson said this can reduce total cost of ownership by up to 60 percent.

The product will be available during the second quarter of this year.

Stéphane Téral, Senior Research Director, Mobile Infrastructure and Carrier Economics at IHS Technology, said: “This addresses a very important set of issues that have been difficult to tackle. There are large underserved populations in need of Internet access . The re-use of hardware and other efficiencies Ericsson delivers are exactly what is needed to help service providers get the most out of their expenditures."

Ericsson is also launching new radio system software and hardware, supporting commercial LTE networks offering 1GBps peak data rates, as well as scalable RAN architecture for Cloud RAN. Three new radio access products will support 4x4 MIMO and new spectrum bands. New microwave solutions will help support multi-gigabit and multi-band networks.

The product will be launched by the end of June.

Meanwhile, Ericsson is launching a Service Operations Centre to monitor the likes of video and web-browsing in real time. An Experience Management Centre will track the likes of customer surveys, social media, Net Performance Scores and churn to deliver service performance analysis to operators.

Finally, its Revenue Manager is a real-time charging and billing service hosted in the cloud. Ericsson said the product allows operators to launch new products and services in days and increase customer experience through more personal omni-channel interactions, analytics and policy control. The product will be launched in June 2016.