Cloud RAN Product to Quicken 5G Midband Rollout

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Ericsson has introduced a new product that adds support for 5G mid-band and Massive MIMO (multiple input/multiple output) deployments to its Cloud RAN (Radio Access Network) portfolio. It is designed to allow communications service providers (CSPs) to use their newly won 5G spectrum to deploy “quickly and efficiently” in the band.

The new product, which was developed in collaboration with Verizon, allows CSPs to evolve toward cloud-native technologies and open network architectures, according to Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks of Ericsson.

With Ericsson Cloud Link, value-added network technology can be infused into an existing network using a virtualized RAN, known as a “bluefield deployment.” Which are unlike brownfield deployments, where they expand the capacity of an existing network, or greenfield, and where they deploy net new sites. 

“Bluefield rollouts represent a fertile middle ground – introducing new technology into an existing network,” said Gabriel Foglander, strategic product manager at Ericsson. “The bluefield way of thinking enables CSPs considering an introduction of Cloud RAN to capture the benefits of what they already have in place and add on new, cloud-based technologies.”

Ericsson Cloud Link can drive a bluefield deployment, according to Foglander, which enables value-add network technologies such as Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, Uplink Booster and Carrier Aggregation to operate across platforms.

A bluefield deployment allows CSPs to achieve the high performance in a combined footprint, which may include millions of 5G-ready Ericsson Radio System radios already in the field globally. 

“What Ericsson is doing goes beyond stacking new technologies above existing radio access,” said Joe Madden, Chief Analyst, Mobile Experts. “Instead, Ericsson raises innovative possibilities for performance gains by combining Cloud RAN mid-band with seven million Ericsson Radio System radios in the field. The coordinated use of virtualized RAN and pre-integrated radios involves optimization and interoperability between generations, which should reduce overall lifetime cost for operators.”

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