New Ericsson solutions boost indoor 5G capacity and precise location services

Via Ericsson

Feb 9, 2023

  • New suite of indoor hardware and software make indoor 5G easier for communications service providers (CSPs), enterprises, and neutral hosts to deploy, scale, and monetize
  • Introducing a new precise-location software that enables new enterprise use cases such as asset tracking and tool positioning
  • Single family of products that cost-effectively cover any indoor scenario or business environment

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has expanded its indoor mobile connectivity portfolio with three new easy-to-deploy and cost-efficient solutions 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.

About 80* percent 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 to 15 percent - 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 new offerings

The latest indoor radio unit, called 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 called 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.

David Hammarwall, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “The new Radio Dot System equipment and location services software further increase the flexibility of Ericsson’s indoor portfolio. 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.”

Joe Madden, Founder & Chief Analyst, Mobile Experts, says: “The in-building wireless market is so diverse that products have remained extremely fragmented for years. 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 portfolio additions in more detail:

  • IRU 8850 (Indoor Radio Unit): a purpose-built, high-performing solution for single or multi-operator deployments in medium to large venues such as airports, offices, and stadiums. The product can serve up to eight venues from one centralized location, with a 10km fiber reach. It also supports both purpose-built and Cloud RAN architectures. It is cost-effective: compared to current alternatives it offers up to 80 percent reduction in physical equipment space; and up to 50 percent lower total cost of ownership (TCO) thanks to network sharing.
  • Ericsson Indoor Fusion Unit: a compact plug-and-play indoor 5G solution aimed at small and medium-sized buildings such as coffee shops, chain stores, branch offices, movie theatres, and restaurants. It can connect up to four Radio Dots with multi-Gbps per Dot. It creates new business opportunities for service providers by adding 5G connectivity for smaller enterprises and branch locations.
  • Ericsson 5G Precise Positioning: software to enable new enterprise use cases and advanced 5G monetization thanks to its unmatched mobile 3D positioning precision of <1m for any 5G device indoors. Only a mobile connection is needed (no sensors) and it is fully integrated with the existing network. The new software feature is also part of Ericsson’s Private 5G Networks offering to enable enterprises to easily deploy a 5G network, equipped with this Ericsson-unique software feature.

Mark McDiarmid, Senior Vice President of Radio Network Engineering and Development with T-Mobile US, says: “The indoor 5G market is taking off and T-Mobile is ensuring our business customers are reaping the benefits. 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.”

Kellie Lakamp, Chief Executive Office, Totem, says: “At Totem, we strive to deliver the very best cellular solutions for our enterprise customers and commercial real estate owners. 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 in Ericsson’s booth in Hall 2 at the Fira Gran Via, during MWC Barcelona 2023 from February 27 to March 2. The solutions will be commercially available in the second half of 2023.

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