Ericsson racks up E-RAN win with Turkcell for use in sports arena

Ericsson teamed up with Turkcell to boost capacity in a sports arena with the vendor's elastic radio access network (E-RAN) offering.

With Ericsson's E-RAN technology, the Ülker Sports Arena in Istanbul, which hosts sporting events and concerts, saw uplink user throughput increases of up to 20% during events.

Ericsson said its E-RAN offering was ideal for maintaining and improving the performance of mobile broadband traffic. With E-RAN, an unlimited number of cells can be coordinated across an entire network, which provides increased flexibility in the aggregation of the different network cell carriers independent of the user's location. Coordination and aggregating cell carriers increased data speeds and network performance. Ericsson said that E-RAN, which is part of the Ericsson Cloud RAN portfolio, was managed through software.

Last week, Italian operator Wind Tre announced it had picked Ericsson to modernize its RAN network, which will include the provisioning of 5G-ready hardware, software and services.

Earlier this year, Japan-based mobile operator SoftBank announced improvements to its radio access design in the Tokai region by using a network automation service from Ericsson. The elastic RAN design used machine learning and big data analytics to enable automation for SoftBank.

While Ericsson has been very public of late in regards to announcing its RAN-related customers wins, it has decided not to formally take part in the industry’s open RAN initiatives such as the O-RAN alliance. According to a story by FierceWireless, Ericsson did say it was evaluating how to best work with the O-RAN alliance.

RELATED: Editor’s Corner—Will operators force Ericsson to the Open RAN table?

Vendors such as Ericsson and Nokia have dominated the traditional RAN market by providing carriers with their respective end-to-end solutions.  Nokia also choose not to join the O-RAN alliance, but is has pledged to be supportive by working with the alliance's operator membership, which includes AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Bharti Airtel, China Telecom, KT, Singtel, SK telecom, Telefonica and Telstra.

Tokyo City University, Ericsson collaborate on AI applications

Ericsson also announced it had signed a collaborative research agreement with Tokyo City University to develop new algorithms for artificial intelligence (AI.) Ericsson will work with the university on coming up with new AI technologies to improve the efficiency of LTE network operations and customer experiences.

One of the collaboration's goals is to develop new algorithms and techniques that require far less data samples while also improving on the results of current AI models, all of which would automate and reduce labor-intensive and time-consuming tasks.

Using the university's laboratory, the research will also include the application of advanced "reinforcement learning" AI algorithms to automatically adjust network parameters by learning and observing real-time performance. That application of AI would simplify network operations and provide a better user experience, especially in dynamic, high-traffic networks, according to Ericsson.

“We have been exploring how emerging technologies in the machine intelligence area can contribute to improvement of network design, operation and performance," said Mikael Eriksson, the head of Ericsson Japan, in a prepared statement. "We hope that this collaboration will result in new algorithms for applying machine intelligence to LTE and, eventually, 5G networks of our operator customers.”