Ericsson launches Time-Critical Communication to guarantee real-time 5G experiences

Software toolbox aims to guarantee the consistent low latency and high reliability demanded by time-critical applications running on 5G networks

Ericsson has launched Time-Critical Communication, a software toolbox designed to guarantee the consistent low latency and high reliability demanded by time-critical applications and services for consumers, enterprises and the public sector.

Ericsson noted that many emerging use cases are time-critical in nature, demanding the guarantee of consistent low latency and highly reliable performance, which is currently not possible in today’s 4G and 5G networks. The new technology is designed to address that need and deliver on the full promise of 5G, it said.

In addition to the estimated 2.5 billion mobile gamers across the world who will enjoy lag-free gaming experience, the new system is seen as being able to benefit enterprises, industries and public agencies where production processes or mission-critical services depend heavily on high-performance, reliable connectivity.

Time-Critical Communication is designed to combine the 3GPP-specified ultra-reliable, low-latency communication (URLLC) standard with Ericsson’s technology to mitigate major causes of latency. Built on Ericsson’s expertise in radio access network, transport, 5G core, service management and orchestration, BSS and support services, the software product delivers consistent low latency from 50ms to 1ms end to-end at specified guarantee levels (99.9% to 99.999%) – enabling time-critical use cases at scale.

Ericsson is enabling Time-Critical Communication through its new Critical IoT product – which it said is easily deployable as a software upgrade on public and private 5G networks, in wide and local areas, on any 5G frequency band. Having deployed 5G networks globally with roll-outs of enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access (FWA) services, the new system will allow communications service providers to further enhance experiences in real-time media use cases such as cloud gaming and augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR), and unlock possibilities in remote control, mobility automation and industrial control.

Per Narvinger, head of product area networks at Ericsson, said: “Ericsson continues to introduce innovative 5G solutions that fuel the global uptake of 5G. Now we are taking 5G to the next level with Time-Critical Communication, which will give our customers the tools to expand their offerings for the consumer, enterprise and public sectors and further monetise 5G effectively.”

A key partner for Ericsson on the project has been Australia-based global Telstra, which has announced that it has successfully trialled Ericsson’s Low Latency Low Loss Scalable (L4S) system for Time-Critical Communication to “revolutionise” gaming in Australia. L4S is software for rate adaptation that enables time-critical communication on a 5G network, designed for emerging 5G applications that are time-critical in nature.

It is designed to enable applications to react to network congestion delays and proactively ensure consistent low latency with high reliability by adapting bit rates in real time, which is not available on existing networks.

Channa Seneviratne, executive, technology development and solutions at Telstra, said: “We have been working with Ericsson as a technology partner to constantly improve the customer experience via enhanced network capabilities. Time-Critical Communication tools such as L4S will allow us to deliver consistent low latency, which is crucial for applications like real-time video, AR/VR and cloud gaming.”

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