Ericsson connects continents using spectrum sharing on 5G live networks

News

A data call made on 29 November connected Bern, Switzerland, and Gold Coast, Australia, over live commercial 5G networks and 'pre-commercial' 5G smartphones.

The vendor claims this milestone shows that dynamic spectrum sharing will enable service providers to launch 5G services quickly over a wide area.

The call was achieved using spectrum sharing on a 3GPP Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) band. Pre-commercial 5G smartphones from OPPO, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System, were used on both ends of the call. OPPO is the first 5G device manufacturer to implement Ericsson spectrum sharing in its smartphones.

Unique capability

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing is part of the Ericsson Radio System, based on the 3GPP standard with additional intelligent scheduler algorithms. This allows deployment of 4G and 5G in the same band through a software upgrade, and dynamically allocates spectrum based on user demand.

The switch between 4G and 5G carriers happens within milliseconds, minimising spectrum wastage and ensuring the best network performance for users.

Ericsson’s CTO for Europe and Latin America, Javier Garcia Gomez, explained to an analyst briefing last Thursday that this is possible via a software upgrade because of its technology choices for FDD bands some years ago.

This tech has been inherent in the Ericsson Radio System since 2015, with 4 million of them in commercial use globally, all of which can potentially use this dynamic spectrum sharing.

Validation

The success of the demo validates support for its spectrum sharing across its 5G ecosystem, from chipsets to 5G devices, and communication service providers’ network products and solutions, according to Ericsson.

It says the strengthening of the ecosystem is also a step towards its commercialisation.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says: “This industry-first highlights the value that Ericsson Spectrum Sharing has to communication service providers as they roll-out and ramp-up 5G…It is the most economically feasible way to launch 5G on existing bands, enabling nationwide 5G coverage and helping make 5G accessible around the world.”