Ericsson Discusses SDN Product, New AIR Solution

By Paula Bernier February 13, 2013

Ericsson today issued a flurry of mobile news announcements, including the unveiling of the SDN-based Ericsson Cloud System, the launch of an addition to its Antenna Integrated Radio line, and much more.

The company made the announcements at a London press conference that served as a precursor to its activities planned for Mobile World Congress later this month in Barcelona.

Ericsson Cloud System will package some of the company’s existing applications and equipment in a virtualized format, and pair them with an OpenStack-based KVM hypervisor called Ericsson Cloud Executive Environment. Existing parts of the solution include the Ericsson Blade System and the Ericsson Smarter Service Router, as well as the company’s operations support system, which under this new solution is being called the Ericsson Cloud Manager.

The company also plans to develop an app store of telecom applications as part of the offer, Magnus Furustam, vice president of product area core and IMS at Ericsson, told NFVZone this morning.

He added that Ericsson Cloud System will be an open environment, so will support both Ericsson apps as well as third-party software.

At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson plans to demonstrate two service provider SDN applications using Ericsson Cloud System. Those applications include network virtualization and service chaining, and will be delivered commercially by Ericsson starting in the fourth quarter.

Service chaining, Furustam explains, enables network operators to create what are essentially catalogs of network resources and related policies (like QoS parameters and bandwidth) to which applications can be applied as they move onto the network.

Many reports on SDN discuss how this concept of making the network more software reliant, and subsequently more flexible, is a threat to traditional equipment suppliers like Ericsson. But Furustam says SDN is just a new way for Ericsson to leverage its competence in networking to deliver better network performance and an improved user experience.

On a separate front, Ericsson has unveiled the new AIR 32, which supports LTE and HSPA without the need for additional antennas or radio units. Easy to install, AIR 32 supports multiple active frequencies in a single unit.

Hanna Maurer Sibley, Ericsson’s director of mobile broadband, explains that the product helps service providers to quickly introduce new bands as needed.

Ericsson launched the AIR product line at Mobile World Congress in 2011. The new AIR 32 delivers 70 percent higher throughput than previously announced AIR solutions. This is possible because the solution can handle four transmission streams at the same time.

It also offers 25 percent better indoor coverage than previously announced AIR products.

Edited by Braden Becker

Executive Editor, TMC

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