Ericsson Spectrum Sharing lets operators use same frequencies for 4G and 5G

(Image credit: Ericsson)

Ericsson has made its dynamic spectrum sharing technology available to mobile operators around the world, claiming the innovation will reduce the time, cost and complexity of 5G deployments.

The transition to 5G is placing significant cost and operational pressures on carriers who must acquire new spectrum and networking equipment. But at the same time they must support their existing 4G subscriber base.

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing allows operators to use the same frequencies and radio kit for both 4G and 5G through a software upgrade. This means existing 4G assets can be maximised and the trade-off between the two forms of connectivity is eliminated.

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing 

Intelligent algorithms allocate spectrum based on user demand with a latency of just 1ms, ensuring an optimal user experience. Ericsson Spectrum Sharing can be used with any one of the five million radios the company has shipped since 2015 and is already being used by Swisscom and Telsta among others.

 “For the first time, our customers do not have to re-farm spectrum before deploying a new ‘G’ and can quickly get 5G on the same footprint as they have with 4G today,” said Fredrik Jejdling, head of networks at Ericsson. “In the next 12 months, more than 80 percent of the commercial 5G networks we support will use our spectrum sharing solution to achieve broad 5G coverage.”

Ericsson believes its dynamic spectrum sharing technology is evidence of its superiority in the market for 5G telecoms equipment. Huawei has frequently stated it believes it is up to 18 months ahead of its competition, a boast that its Swedish rival disputes.

“We believe we are leading 5G. We have 81 commercial contracts and we believe that this is the highest number,” Jejdling said at an event in London earlier this month.

“We have deployed 24 networks across the globe and we are the first to do so across four continents so it’s difficult to see anyone ahead of us at this stage … we believe we have a competitive portfolio that is on a par or ahead of any of our competitors.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.