At a time when there is exponential increase in mobile data demands in India, telcos are facing this huge challenge of call drops, while trying to balance their network optimization towards data and voice. To aid operators in such a situation, Ericsson has unveiled a number of innovations that can enhance network coverage for operators as well as intelligently increase the capacity to handle more data for indoors usage.
When asked about the present challenge of call drops in India, Ericsson President and CEO, Hans Vestberg said that the company is delivering a lot of innovations that can go towards addressing this issue.
“We have been innovating towards helping operators do more with their network infrastructure, we have – Multi standard, multi band and multi layer – approach that can help operators do more with their spectrum and enhance their coverage as well as handle more capacity. He added.
Explaining about the next generation-ready innovations that Ericsson is brining to the market, Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Radio, Ericsson, said that Ericsson is completely driven by innovations on the radio side.
“We are investing about $ 5 billion in research and development. And majority of this 5 billion goes into radio innovations. As far as India is concerned, there is exponential growth in smartphone data and in India there will be 22 times more data traffic by 2020. Today, it is all about how the mobile network performs in mobile broadband and mobile data regime. This is where indoor coverage becomes important. If we look at the network usage today, 90 per cent of time it is utilized in-doors. It means 90 per cent of the traffic is generated indoors. Today we are having huge number of applications being downloaded from the networks and every application is unique in its own way. Hence it becomes very important for operators to address the issue of delivering adequate indoor coverage.” He explained.
Ericsson Radio Dot System
Dwelling on the recent deployments of Ericsson Radio Dot systems and its critical role towards helping operators address the challenge of call drops – Arun Bansal said, “We have deployed Radio Dot in 43 countries and with 48 operators. This has resulted in ‘zero drop call’ and also there is 5 times increase in through-put.”
“We are also bringing enhancements in our 16A software that will further enhance the experience on indoor. So there are four fundamental improvements that we are bringing – faster downlink, faster uplink by 200 per cent (25 to 150 MBPS) and then we have this innovation around reduction in power usage – reducing power consumption by 40 per cent. Lastly, we have this innovation around utilization of unlicensed spectrum. By combining the licensed band with the unlicensed band – we can increase the capacity significantly. Just by utilising 4 per cent of unlicensed band we can considerably increase the capacity. All this is primarily driven through our new 16A software.” Arun added.
Over the last few years a major shift in connectivity has been gaining speed; we have moved away from a laptop era and into a fully mobile era, where we connect to our friends, family, and colleagues through multiple devices – growing to 4.3 devices per user by 2020 — and where business transactions are often made over the cellular network.
The resulting influx of devices, users, and applications trying to access the network can result in poor indoor coverage and performance. And with the coming growth in the Internet of Things contributing to 26 billion connected devices in 2020, providing the right coverage to indoor spaces will become a greater challenge.
To support these changes in connectivity, Ericsson, long recognized for high-performance, innovative hardware, is pushing performance further by adding capacity and functionality with software-only upgrades.
Ericsson has unveiled its next major software release, Ericsson Networks Software 16A, which will feature a new suite of LTE software upgrades targeting the indoor space.
Among the hundreds of new and enhanced software feature options in Network Software 16A, the new suite features advances in uplink and downlink performance – boosting network uplink speeds by up to 200 percent, downlink speeds by up to 30 percent and adding LTE Unlicensed (LTE-U), the first commercial step in Licensed Assisted Access – as well as features to support greater energy efficiency of small cells.
Increases in video and media uploads by businesses and consumers via apps like Instagram and Facebook call for better uplink speeds. Ericsson Networks Software 16A includes two uplink enhancements that will enable mobile operators to utilize 64 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) on uplink to provide50-percent better peak speeds of 75 Mbps. In addition, it enables uplink carrier aggregation, which can double uplink data speeds. Combined, these improvements provide peak uplink data rates up to 150 Mbps, which is a 200 percent improvement.
Further enhancements focused on the indoor space boost download speeds by 30 percent using 256 QAM encoding.
Earlier this year, in a live demonstration with Ericsson, Telstra achieved the world’s first download peak rates of 600Mbps using this new feature. Devices that support these advances become available this year, in line with commercial availability of the Ericsson Networks Software 16A.
Networks Software 16A also includes LTE-U, to drive higher performance. LTE-U enables operators to combine the reliability of licensed spectrum with indoor data speed boosts provided by unlicensed spectrum.
Arun Bansal, says: “To keep pace with mobile broadband demand from both consumers and industry, operators need solutions that deliver both high performance and efficiency. Ericsson’s indoor software innovations deliver both. And, these new features combined with Ericsson’s end-to-end solutions, flexible go-to-market and business models and proactive relationships with key device ecosystem partners, ensure that our leading operators not only keep pace, but set the pace.”
Ericsson Networks Software 16A builds on energy-efficiency capabilities in previous releases and now includes Cell Sleep mode.This feature enables individual carriers to automatically switch off during periods of low traffic demand, ensuring greater energy efficiency of small cells.