Ericsson has officially introduced a full-on 5G platform comprising its 5G core, radio and transport portfolios, together with digital support systems, transformation services and security.
While 5G standards and commercial launches are still a few years away, Ericsson insists that preparing for 5G now represents a huge opportunity for operators.
Ericsson expects that in 2026, there will be a $582 billion market opportunity globally as telecom operators leverage 5G technology for industry digitalization. For operators, this represents potential to add 34% growth in revenues in 2026. In a forthcoming study, Ericsson finds that for operators the manufacturing and energy/utilities sectors represent the biggest opportunity for revenues created or enhanced by 5G.
“With this launch, we introduce our 5G platform to support the beginning of a huge change in network capabilities, allowing our customers to offer more advanced use cases and new business models to their customers. It is an important milestone enabling operators to continue their evolution journey to 5G,” says Arun Bansal, Head of Business Unit Network Products at Ericsson.
Ericsson says its 5G core system is capable of 5G use cases based on network slicing, which allows an operator to provide dedicated virtual networks with functionality specific to the service or customer over a common network. Ericsson is introducing additions into a number of areas of its 5G core system and applications:
- Federated network slicesfor 5G roaming extends this concept to a visited network. This technology will make it possible for an operator to provide a network service globally, ensuring enterprises do not need individual agreements with different operators for a global service experience.
- Network slice managementto automate the setup of service connections and to secure service quality, to save costs and to gain fast time to service.
- 5G policy and user data for network slices to ensure users get the right service quality and have data integrity.
- Distributed cloud to facilitate short latency applications, such as real-time face recognition, by moving applications and workloads closer to the access. In addition, the 5G-enabled packet core will allow full separation of control and user data, as well as unprecedented capacity and user data rates.
- 5G transformation services to ensure the migration of the network and operation from legacy to 5G core, virtualized and based on an automated operational model.
One proof point has already been demonstrated by SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson, who announced earlier this week that they jointly built and demonstrated an intercontinental 5G trial network where network slices were made available in the other operator’s footprint.
New additions build on the foundation where the journey to 5G has already started, with virtualization, where hardware-based functions are put on cloud infrastructure platforms as data centers. NFV and SDN will be used for networking and programmability, bringing ultra-scalability, programmability and automation to the networks. And, Ericsson’s current portfolio of User Data Management, EPC and IMS is put in the cloud to support new use cases.
In radio and transport, Ericsson adds mid-band and high-band 5G New Radio (NR) radios to the 5G NR radio that the company launched last year. Ericsson claims the 5G radio portfolio will be the first to support the new standardized 5G fronthaul interface, eCPRI.
To ensure the needed network transport capabilities, Ericsson also introduces optimized transport solutions. It delivers a MINI-LINK enabling speed of 10 Gbps and new rail-mounted fronthaul and router products, enabling zero footprint.
Ericsson will also be delivering new innovations for LTE networks, and 1-Gbps LTE solutions, which will also be part of the 5G ecosystem. New products complement the Ericsson Radio System and will increase the energy and spectrum efficiency of 4G networks and app coverage improvements.