Ericsson pumps up AIR solutions for faster mid-band 5G deployment

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Swisscom and the Vodafone Group have worked with the vendor on the compact ingtegrated-antenna platform which enables wider 5G deployment without extending their sites' footprint.

The antenna-integrated radio (AIR) solutions – Hybrid AIR and Interleaved AIR – the latest additions to the Ericsson Radio System portfolio. No extra physical space is needed at existing sites. When deployed with Massive MIMO, communications service providers can deploy mid-band 5G with the new solutions faster and on a larger scale.

Francisco Martin, Head of Radio Products, Vodafone Group, added, “Ericsson and Vodafone have jointly designed the Interleaved AIR antenna platform, a key enabler for mid band 5G roll-outs as it supports legacy bands plus the new 5G active antennas. This compact product saves space and simplifies the infrastructure needed at mobile sites, reducing total cost of ownership.”

Daniel Staub, Head of Mobile at Swisscom, said, “We have rolled out 5G technology nationwide as the first provider in Europe. We reached 90% population coverage at the end of 2019.

"Close collaboration with Ericsson and deploying the Hybrid AIR helped us to reach that goal. We are now delivering wide mid-band capacity, while reusing established sites and minimizing additional footprint. We continue to work and innovate to bring the best end-user experience to our 5G subscribers.”

Size is everything

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, explained, “It’s a footprint issue. At some network sites, size literally is everything. Communications service providers globally often have limited possibilities to increase the space occupied by network equipment.

"They need solutions that fit in existing sites and still provide great performance. With the Hybrid AIR and Interleaved AIR solutions, we can help our customers to quickly deliver the benefits of 5G Massive MIMO to more end users. This launch also shows the effectiveness of fully integrated Kathrein Mobile Communication products in our Ericsson Radio System.”

Kathrein tech

The solution uses Kathrein Mobile Communication antenna technology:Ericsson acquired Kathrein's antenna and filter business last October.

Hybrid AIR and Interleaved AIR can introduce 5G mid-band can be added to existing sites by combining antenna-integrated radios and multiband passive antenna technology in one enclosure.

A simulated calculation by Ericsson experts showed that the upgrade to Hybrid AIR or Interleaved AIR with Massive MIMO can result in up to seven times greater mobile broadband capacity than is available from existing multiband antennas.

The capacity gains come from improved Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) spectral efficiencies, new FDD bands and added Massive MIMO mid-bands. The new AIR solutions also boost 4G capacity.