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Ericsson, Swisscom, and Qualcomm move commercial 5G spectrum sharing closer

Commercial 5G spectrum sharing is a significant step closer following a landmark data call achievement by Ericsson, Swisscom and Qualcomm Technologies.

The partners successfully carried out the first over-the-air spectrum sharing 5G data call with a service provider, at Swisscom’s Digital Lab on October 31. The call was enabled by Ericsson Spectrum Sharing (ESS).

Ericsson and Qualcomm had previously achieved the first 5G data call using Ericsson Spectrum Sharing on a 3GPP Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) low band. The latest achievement with Swisscom is a catalyst towards making commercial 5G spectrum sharing a reality.

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, part of Ericsson Radio System, enables a quick, flexible, and cost-effective upgrade to 5G within existing 4G carriers. Based on traffic demand, the solution will dynamically share spectrum between 4G and 5G carriers, making the switch within milliseconds to minimize spectrum wastage and provide the best end-user performance.

Swisscom, with Ericsson as its sole 5G vendor, was the first communications service provider in Europe to launch commercial 5G services in April 2019 – on the 3.6 GHz band. Swisscom is targeting 90 percent population coverage by the end of 2019.

Patrick Weibel, Head of 5G Program, Swisscom, says: “Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) allows Swisscom to best leverage the existing frequency spectrum and infrastructure for 4G and 5G customers, depending on their needs. Spectrum sharing will ensure that Swisscom can provide extensive 5G coverage to its customers as soon as possible.”

Hannes Ekström, Head of Product Line 5G RAN, Ericsson, says: “With Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, service providers can reuse their Ericsson Radio System investments on bands currently used for LTE to support a fast introduction of 5G. This first ESS 5G data call by Swisscom, on commercial platforms, is an important step toward enabling cost-efficient, nationwide 5G coverage and services.”

Dino Flore, Vice President, Technology, Qualcomm Europe, Inc. says: “Coverage is the next killer app for 5G, and we congratulate Ericsson and Swisscom on this significant milestone.  Spectrum sharing will be a key catalyst for nationwide 5G coverage, helping to deliver ubiquitous 5G services to consumers.”


 

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