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Ericsson unveils small cell as-a-service and virtual Evolved Packet Core

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Ericsson has announced the launch of a small cell as-a-service product and a suite of virtualised network applications ahead of Mobile World Congress.
 
The small cell as-a-service solution is the latest to target areas with high volumes of people consuming a lot of data, such as stadiums or busy shopping streets. 
 
It uses low-powered, short-range radio access nodes to supplement existing networks in areas where it is not practical to find additional sites for macro cells. The Sweden-based vendor said the network could serve multiple operators and could be owned by Ericsson or a partner. 
 
Further, it is a means of monetising carrier-grade Wi-Fi and media content, advertising and OTT services, Ericsson claimed.
 
Among a nine-strong roster of product announcements, the company also launched a virtual Evolved Packet Core as part of its work on network functions virtualisation (NFV). This will allow operators to develop new services in M2M, enterprise and distributed cloud for rural broadband. 
 
Ericsson also revealed a new unified network management system that allows an operator to manage a multitude of networks through one product. 
 
These networks could include multi-standard radio, small cell and integrated Wi-Fi, Time Division Multiplexing, evolved IP networks, virtual network infrastructures and dynamic networking with SDN. 
 
The company said its Network Manager platform was integrated as part of its OSS portfolio of products for multi-vendor management.
 
A new modular All-in-One Outdoor Enclosure is another new product from Ericsson, allowing networks to house up to eight digital units, 19 radios and four MINI-LINK hops in less than 0.5 square metres. 
 
Thomas Noren, Vice-President and Head Product Area Radio, Business Unit Networks, said: "Optimising outdoor enclosures is an important area to reduce time-to-service. The All-In-One Outdoor Enclosure helps them to add capacity cost-efficiently, enabling them to handle the massive data growth.”
 
The enclosure will work alongside Ericsson's RBS6000 product portfolio.
 
Ericsson also announced its first network-wide software launch, Networks Software 14B, which includes LTE Uplink Coordinated Multi Point.
 
This doubles app coverage for all devices and enables 4G LTE speeds of up to 450MBps alongside a bulked up HD video conferencing service. The upgrade has more than 200 new and enhanced features in total. 
 
Finally, Ericsson unveiled a new product allowing operators to deliver integrated cloud, connectivity and communications as-a-service to enterprise customers. 
 
The service, which follows the rise in Bring Your Own Device and cloud products, allows employees to access high-quality voice and video calling across any device, view colleagues availability through presence capabilities and provide in-browse guidance to a business's customers.
 
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