Softbank achieves 40% data speed boost in Ericsson Elastic RAN trial

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Ericsson says it has successfully completed the first commercial implementation of its Elastic RAN for SoftBank’s mobile network in a Tokyo train station, demonstrating a 40% increase in data throughput for commuters during peak hours.

Elastic RAN – which is part of Ericsson’s Cloud RAN solution – was developed specifically to improve users’ mobile broadband experience through elastic coordination of users and cells.

With Elastic RAN, an unlimited number of cells can be coordinated across the entire network providing great flexibility in the aggregation of the different network cell carriers independent of user location. Coordinating and aggregating cell carriers improves user data speeds and overall network performance, Ericsson said.

The results of the Tokyo train station commercial implementation show that downlink throughput increased by up to 40% during peak hours with three carrier-aggregation enabled smartphones.

“Tokyo presents a challenging network environment with very high mobile data usage with short distances between cell sites. This makes inter-cell coordination complex, which is critical to the aggregation of cell carriers required to achieve high performance,” said Mikael Eriksson, Head of Ericsson Japan. “Elastic RAN introduces a new paradigm with respect to the way we achieve inter-cell coordination by creating borderless coordination areas. We are pleased to work with SoftBank to meet their customers’ evolving and ever-expanding needs.”

Hideyuki Tsukuda, senior vice president and deputy head of Softbank’s Technology Unit, said the operator is now “expanding Elastic RAN deployment to further deliver high performance throughout our network.”

SoftBank will continue to deploy Ericsson Elastic RAN throughout dense urban network areas. As strategic partners, Ericsson and SoftBank will also work on further development of Elastic RAN to continue the enhancement of this capability.

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