In the quest to dominate the world of 5G, Ericsson has been very busy, indeed. The company has not only announced that it has completed its 5G platform for operators, so they can launch 5G NR services in Q4 of 2018, but has also ensured its existing Radio System products are 5G upgradeable.
The company explained that this "enables fast and smooth migration to 5G in existing bands, as well as fast coverage expansion of 5G services for operators".
Ericsson said that "this applies to more than 150 different radio variants in Ericsson Radio System that are active in more than 190 networks around the world, meaning that Ericsson Radio System legacy radios from 2015 can support 5G NR".
Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice-president and head of Business Area Networks, Ericsson said: “We have a long history of strong backwards compatibility and our products and software are built for evolution – with Ericsson, there is no need to rip and replace.
"Investments in Ericsson Radio System since 2015 will continue to bring operators value when the time is right to transition to 5G.”
Daniel Staub, head of Joint Mobile Group, Swisscom, said: “Today’s news means that we can launch 5G services more efficiently with our future-proofed Ericsson Radio System products – significantly boosting the long-term value of our network assets.”
We're told that "operators will have the possibility to run 4G and 5G in the same band with the same radio and the same baseband".
"It will also be possible to share the spectrum between 4G and 5G with side-by-side carriers in the same band, and even with overlapping carriers using so-called ‘Dynamic Spectrum Sharing’ functionality."
Ericsson points to its November 2017 Mobility Report, stating: "Total global mobile data traffic is expected to grow eight times, while 5G subscriptions are forecast to reach one billion by the end of 2023.
"This puts increasing demand on operators to continue to expand capacity cost efficiently while addressing their 5G evolution at the same time."