Advanced Television

Ericsson boosts indoor 5G capacity

February 9, 2023

By Colin Mann

Comms technologist Ericsson has expanded its indoor mobile connectivity portfolio with three new solutions that it says are easy-to-deploy and cost-efficient, aimed at delivering 5G coverage, capacity and capabilities across the interior of any work or business environment – regardless of the size or complexity of the building. The new solutions become part of the Ericsson Radio Dot System portfolio, further increasing the flexibility of this industry-leading portfolio.

According to Ericsson, about 80 per cent of mobile data is generated through indoor use. High-performing indoor mobile connectivity has become a critical digital infrastructure. However, relatively minimal floor space in buildings – estimated by Ericsson at 10 per cent to 15 per cent – is currently served by indoor 5G connectivity. Businesses spanning all sectors and sizes, whether airports, office complexes, hotels and industrial settings such as factories, mines and ports, require reliable connectivity that improves their operations and customers’ experience.

The currently fragmented in-building market primarily consists of technologies such as Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and small cells. As a result, the indoor technology decision-making process is often difficult and time-consuming. Ericsson’s additions to its indoor 5G portfolio – comprising of two new hardware products and a software solution – are aimed at meeting customers’ simplicity and monetization goals through a scalable solution suitable for any indoor environment or situation.

The latest indoor radio unit, IRU 8850, is suited for medium-to-large venue coverage. Designed for simple and speedy deployment, it delivers up to four times the capacity of its predecessors, enhancing network performance and user experience in medium to large venues. It is also up to 70 percent more energy-efficient compared to active DAS technology.

The second indoor 5G portfolio addition – aimed at small- to medium-sized building coverage – is the Ericsson Indoor Fusion Unit, a compact, all-in-one indoor 5G solution that combines radio and baseband functionalities into one unit, making it easy and quick to deploy.

Ericsson is also introducing a new software feature for indoor networks called Ericsson 5G Precise Positioning, which provides location services for a wide range of uses cases that CSPs and enterprises can use, like asset tracking and tool positioning, in environments such as factories, mines, hospitals, warehouses, and other industrial private network applications, as well as in emergency response scenarios.

“The new Radio Dot System equipment and location services software further increase the flexibility of Ericsson’s indoor portfolio,” commented David Hammarwall, Head of Product Area Networks at Ericsson. “Scalable and cost-efficient, the expanded portfolio offers a one-stop-shop to accelerate indoor 5G rollouts globally, spreading the benefits of premium indoor connectivity. It will also enable a variety of use cases for service providers and enterprises that will boost operational efficiency, safety, and user experience.”

“The in-building wireless market is so diverse that products have remained extremely fragmented for years,” noted Joe Madden, Founder & Chief Analyst, Mobile Experts. “Ericsson has pulled together a line-up of products that are more flexible and adaptable, to handle wide variations in the application. This approach can drive economy of scale, with common parts serving large and small buildings, with high capacity, low capacity, or multi-operator applications. This kind of digital backbone will enable deployment to scale up for larger numbers of buildings.”

“The indoor 5G market is taking off and T-Mobile is ensuring our business customers are reaping the benefits,” said Mark McDiarmid, Senior Vice President of Radio Network Engineering and Development with T-Mobile US. “New solutions like the Ericsson Indoor Fusion Unit will enable us to quickly scale and deliver 5G to our customers with high-performing networks indoors, enabling incredible new use cases and opportunities.”

“At Totem, we strive to deliver the very best cellular solutions for our enterprise customers and commercial real estate owners,” added Kellie Lakamp, Chief Executive Office, Totem. “Working with Ericsson and their Radio Dot System portfolio has enabled us to bring high-capacity, high performance connectivity to employees, tenants and visitors. We are excited to see Ericsson adding new solutions for the Neutral Host market.”

The new indoor solutions will be on show and in focus during MWC Barcelona 2023 from February 27th to March 2nd. The solutions will be commercially available in the second half of 2023.

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