EE teams with Ericsson to revamp 5G radio network
EE is deploying Ericsson’s latest ultra-lightweight radio technology which will deliver improved 5G efficiency across its network.
Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) offers 5G over more antennas from a single site, improving capacity and coverage.
With up to 40% less weight and volume than previous generations of equipment, Ericsson’s AIR3268 is the lightest and smallest Massive MIMO radio equipment and the most energy-efficient radio equipment of this type in Europe.
Field measurements in active deployment have shown a reduction of up to 40% in energy usage.
Greg McCall, chief networks officer at BT Group, said: “We’ve already made significant progress in making EE a more efficient network, delivering vast quantities of additional data without equivalent energy increases.
“Our partnership with Ericsson is a further milestone in this journey, enabling us not only to accelerate our 5G rollout in city centres, but to do so in a more sustainable way. That’s good for us, but also incredibly important to our customers and the planet.”
The new radio kit will initially be deployed at 1,000 sites and will operate EE’s 3.4GHz and 3.6GHz spectrum bands.
BT adds that accelerated 5G upgrades are now possible in some areas previously constrained by building regulations or planning law because older technology would have required an increase in mast height or load bearing.
The first deployments are in London, with sites in Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Belfast set to follow.
The improved technology will be expanded to more urban and suburban areas in the future.