Ericsson has launched its 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) commercial software, which is based on the recently approved first 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standard.

It has also introduced a new category of radio products called Street Macro, describing it as a new site type that addresses the need of operators to grow in cities with limited available radio locations.

The company said this was a step towards finalising 5G-readiness for operators, enhancing its 5G platform with new solutions for the radio and core network. The new platform will allow Ericsson to expand its 5G Core System offering with new capabilities to support 5G NR, as well as enhance its Distributed Cloud solution.

Ericsson introduced its 5G platform in February 2017, with further additions made in September. The platform comprises the 5G core, radio and transport portfolios, together with OSS/BSS, network services and security.

Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of business area networks at Ericsson, said: “Operators who want to be early with 5G now have the essential pieces for launching 5G networks already this year. With our expanded platform, they will get more efficient networks as well as opportunities to create new revenues from emerging consumer and industrial use cases.”

It is currently expected that 5G networks will be made commercially available next year, with widespread adoption forecast for 2020.

Ericssson said that its 5G radio network software will provide multi-band support for global deployment. It will allow operators to use new frequency spectrum as it becomes available. The software will be available in the fourth quarter of 2018.

According to the company, the software will complement Ericsson’s already launched baseband and 5G radios. Operators will be able to activate their 5G networks and take the first steps with commercial 5G capabilities and new applications leveraging advanced mobile broadband services.

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