Ericsson deploys 5G network near Texas HQ to run real-world use cases

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Ericsson: The network is a ‘platform for trial and development’ for future enterprise 5G networks

Ericsson deployed its very own 5G end-to-end distributed network in North Texas that runs across multiple campuses, including Plano Ericsson Village, the company’s 38-acre U.S. headquarters, and its nearby research facility Richardson Labs.

The network will be run by Ericsson both as “an operator and as a large, complex enterprise,” explained Kevin Zvokel, head of networks for Ericsson North America, adding that this demonstrates how 5G and edge computing will work together to deliver new services and use cases.

“We’re running real-world experiments and use cases to solve problems today that the industry will encounter tomorrow, such as end-to-end network slicing,” he added.

Network slicing enables operators to offer more than simple connectivity, instead allowing them to deliver value-added digital services. Some examples of those services include a recently launched drone that was equipped with a video/IoT and augmented reality application over 5G mmWave with a mid-band LTE anchor, as well as running a “smart boat” over Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) around the lake at the Plano Ericsson Village.

According to Tomas Ageskog, head of digital services for Ericsson North America, the network will provide a “great platform for trial and development to demonstrate what end-users face in deploying 5G in an Enterprise environment across devices, access, transport and core.”

Specifically, the network delivers access to the 5G edge computing environment so that partners and customers can run “no-risk, real-world experiments” with the latest technology. This, said the press release, removes the complexity from future implementation.

Further, both 5G Core Stand-Alone (SA) and integrated Non-standalone (NSA) radio access network (RAN) are supported in the lab using an SD-WAN connection to the public cloud as well as radio and mobile transport for full application cloud-to-device connectivity, management and orchestration.

The press released stressed the collaborative nature of the 5G network project, revealing that Dell Technologies hardware will be used at the Ericsson Village to demonstrate a realistic hardware configuration for the edge network.

A few months ago, Ericsson’s Texas smart factory, which began commercial operations in March 2020, made headlines for delivering its first U.S.-manufactured 5G base station to Verizon.

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