With one billion 5G subscriptions expected by the end of 2023, mobile operators must meet consumer and enterprise demand for applications such as 4K/8K video streaming, virtual reality/augmented reality, and immersive media. This puts out a strong call for indoor coverage, which cannot be easily addressed by outdoor radio deployments as modern building materials can block outdoor radio signals.
Building on the design of previous generations, the 5G Radio Dot takes less than half the time to install compared to other indoor solutions, and will support the new 5G mid-bands (3-6GHz) with speeds up to 2Gbps.
Nishant Batra, Head of Product Area Network Infrastructure at Ericsson, says: “Adding small cell solutions to our 5G portfolio is a natural part of the network evolution. Enterprises have been asking for first-rate connectivity indoors, as well as higher speeds and capacity to serve advanced use cases that cannot be addressed by traditional indoor systems. Our 5G portfolio, bolstered by small cells, will enable operators to meet these demands.”
Daryl Schoolar, Practice Leader, Ovum, says: “Now that first 5G standards are here, vendors are going to need multiple radio solutions to help operators roll out their new 5G networks. Ericsson takes an important initial step in this direction by adding indoor small cell 5G solutions to its already existing outdoor 5G RAN portfolio. This new indoor solution from Ericsson is going to be attractive for operators wanting to offer enterprises good indoor performance for enhanced mobile broadband and new industrial applications that can’t be met by Wi-Fi or 5G base stations deployed outdoors.”
As a natural evolution of the Ericsson Radio Dot System, operators will be able to deploy 5G Radio Dot next to 4G solutions using the same cabling infrastructure, same network architecture and dot locations. This innovative small cell solution provides a simple upgrade path for existing Radio Dot System deployments, adding 5G technology capabilities. It is easy to add frequency, capacity, and technologies.
The Radio Dot System has been successfully deployed for many indoor applications used in large areas such as office buildings, shopping malls, hospitals, and airports. Over time, the small cell solution will also support 5G industrial applications from connected factories to more extreme cases such as connected mining. Ericsson is a pioneer on this front.
The 5G Radio Dot will undergo trials in late 2018 and will be commercially available in 2019.