Ericsson Spectrum Sharing Test Offers Proof of Concept for 5G Dynamic Spectrum Sharing

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1Q 2020 | IN-5700

Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), from the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 15, allows operators to allocate a portion of the 4G spectrum to be used for 5G, offering more widespread, early coverage and usage by both 4G and 5G devices simultaneously, as well as a smooth migration from 4G to 5G. As 4G and 5G are both based on Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM), they can coexist on the same frequency simultaneously, negating the need for the spectrum to be re-farmed before 5G devices can take advantage of a part of it. This will be used particularly in the sub-6 GHz frequencies to improve 5G coverage. To ensure that 5G increases bandwidth, reduces congestion, and improves latency, DSS will help ensure that a device stays connected to 5G for as long as possible, ensuring that is has access to high-speed connectivity when required. DSS will aid the move from non-standalone to standalone and, once 5G is more widespread, it will aid with network slicing, allowing parts of the spectrum to be allocated for different use cases.

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Dynamic Spectrum Sharing Aids the Move Toward 5G

NEWS


Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), from the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 15, allows operators to allocate a portion of the 4G spectrum to be used for 5G, offering more widespread, early coverage and usage by both 4G and 5G devices simultaneously, as well as a smooth migration from 4G to 5G. As 4G and 5G are both based on Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM), they can coexist on the same frequency simultaneously, negating the need for the spectrum to be re-farmed before 5G devices can take advantage of a part of it. This will be used particularly in the sub-6 GHz frequencies to improve 5G coverage. To ensure that 5G increases bandwidth, reduces congestion, and improves latency, DSS will help ensure that a device stays connected to 5G for as long as possible, ensuring that is has access to high-speed connectivity when required. DSS will aid the move from non-standalone to standalone and, once 5G is more widespread, it will aid with network slicing, allowing parts of the spectrum to be allocated for different use cases.

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing Test Successful

IMPACT


In November, a successful data call was made between Bern, Switzerland and Gold Coast, Australia using Swisscom and Telstra’s respective commercial 5G networks, Ericsson’s Spectrum Sharing technology, and Oppo’s pre-commercial 5G smartphones with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G modem. Ericsson Spectrum Sharing is based on the 3GPP standard and allows 4G and 5G to be deployed on the same band via a software upgrade, dynamically allocating spectrum depending on user demand within milliseconds with the aim of minimizing spectrum wastage, optimizing user performance, launching 5G services quickly over a wide area, and re-using the existing network infrastructure.

A number of other component, infrastructure, and device companies have been exploring how to offer and use DSS to ensure that 5G is rolled out quickly and efficiently. Qualcomm’s second-generation 5G solutions, such as the Snapdragon X55 5G modem used in Ericsson’s Spectrum Sharing test, support DSS and provide improved connectivity to 5G devices, and the company is also planning to enable DSS on all its 5G modems that will launch in 2020. It also expects DSS to be supported in key regions such as North America, Europe, Korea, and Australia, provided that both the operator and the devices’ chips also support DSS.

Huawei’s spectrum sharing technology solution, CloudAIR, allows numerous resources, including spectrum, power, and channels, including 5G, to be shared efficiently to maximize network capacity and coverage and allows 5G devices to use 4G spectrum via DSS. Samsung has also confirmed that its 5G mmWave radio units will support DSS, allowing devices to use 4G and 5G in the same frequency, dynamically changing when necessary. Nokia has also confirmed that it will introduce DSS in its networks as a software upgrade in 2020.

Many operators have also confirmed that they plan to use DSS throughout 2020 to reduce costs and scale up 5G coverage quickly. For example, Verizon has confirmed that it plans to introduce DSS technology from infrastructure vendors including Ericsson, Samsung, and Nokia to its network in 2020, allowing it to push out 5G to 4G base stations via a software update instead of re-farming the technology; AT&T and T-Mobile have confirmed that they will roll out DSS in the first half of 2020; and Swisscom and Telstra both plan to take advantage of DSS following the test with Ericsson.

DSS an Important Part of Migration to 5G

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5G devices, particularly smartphones, will be able to take advantage of DSS from 2020, aiding with the migration from 4G connectivity to 5G connectivity, offering a more efficient, seamless transition. It will allow 5G devices to take advantage of the 4G spectrum without the re-farming of the spectrum, ensuring that 5G connectivity is immediately improved. The technology does require software upgrades in the network and 5G-capable technology in the devices, but it will be less costly and more efficient for all players within the 5G market and will provide consumers with access to more seamless 5G connectivity faster than they would have without DSS.

All players within the 5G market should consider how DSS will aid their migration towards 5G. Component suppliers, device manufacturers, infrastructure companies, and network operators should all consider how to integrate DSS support into their parts of the technology, ensuring that it works as required and provides access to 5G. This will help to ensure that consumers have access to devices that can provide 5G connectivity quickly and seamlessly and also help with the move from non-standalone to standalone 5G connectivity.

Companies across all parts of the 5G market should also consider entering into partnerships with other players to ensure that the technology functions seamlessly with different devices, components, and networks as required, providing 5G connectivity via DSS. Tests, such as the one completed by Ericsson, Swisscom, Telstra, Oppo, and Qualcomm, should also be undertaken to help ensure that DSS works successfully with different mixes of components, devices, and networks, and prove that the technology works effectively, provides the required connectivity more efficiently, offers a stable and reliable connectivity, and aids the migration from 4G to 5G.

 

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