Ericsson

Energy efficiency takes centre stage in new Ericsson 5G portfolio

Pre-MWC briefing sees Swedish comms tech leader introduce new radio access network technology led by the flagship dual-band antenna, said to consume 25% less power than current product

With the mobile industry’s flagship event, MWC, only days away and hinting at a return to normal in the industry, Ericsson has unveiled a radio access network (RAN) portfolio with systems designed to address the global acceleration in 5G roll-out and the sustainability goals of communications service providers.

Powered by next-generation Ericsson silicon, the new additions are attributed with being able to lead to lower-footprint 5G sites, and boosting bandwidth, energy efficiency and user experience. Ericsson promises that the portfolio additions will deliver “sizeable” energy savings and up to ten-fold capacity increases – with minimal or no added footprint.

Ericsson noted that 5G roll-outs are accelerating across the world, with front-runners gearing up for the shift to 5G Standalone to drive new consumer and enterprise use cases. Introducing 5G means added spectrum and hardware – which is where Ericsson’s new products play a key role through the ability to raise capacity while slashing power usage – fuelling efforts to break the energy curve.

The energy efficiency of essential technology is seen as one of the biggest issues facing operators. In September 2021, Vodafone tapped Ericsson to complete the first deployment of a new 5G radio that saw energy consumption decrease by a daily average of 43%, and as much as 55% at off-peak times. This saw deployment of the Ericsson AIR 3227 antenna-integrated radio system installed on the roof of Vodafone’s Speechmark office in Southwark, central London.

Heading the new portfolio enhancements is Radio 4490, a dual-band radio that delivers 25% lower power consumption with reduced weight compared with the current product. This radio type is compatible with most of the radio sites globally as it supports the main FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) bands being used by many service providers for their 5G deployment.

Ericsson is also launching a high-power version of the new dual-band radio, 4490 HP, which is said to enable up to 50% more output power compared with current radios. The two new radios apply passive cooling – reducing power consumption further, as fans are not needed. They are also Cloud RAN-ready.

The additions also include: the 64T/R Massive MIMO AIR 6428 for mid-band, with 400MHz bandwidth for efficient RAN sharing, in a single-person-carry 25kg radio; the 398mm-wide multi-band Antenna 4602, designed for best wind load durability and for maintained site build requirements; the interleaved AIR 3218 with industry-leading low height and weight, enabling Massive MIMO roll-outs without growing visual antenna footprint; Deep Sleep mode software for new radios and Massive MIMO portfolios that are said to consume up to 70% less power per radio during low traffic hours; Coverage Boost 5G carrier aggregation software, designed to deliver 60% wider reach for mid-band TDD (Time Division Duplex) compared with dual connectivity, and also supporting RAN Compute and Cloud RAN platforms.

“We continue to evolve our RAN portfolio with more solutions for smart, slim and sustainable 5G networks,” said Per Narvinger, head of product area networks at Ericsson. “Our latest innovations will further optimise 5G sites for both purpose-built and Cloud RAN deployments.”

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