Ericsson and SoftBank complete first elastic RAN deployment

10 November 2016 | James Pearce


Ericsson has completed its first deployment of its Elastic Radio Access Network (RAN) solution for SoftBank’s mobile division in Japan.

Elastic RAN is part of Ericsson’s Cloud RAN solution and aims to improve users’ mobile broadband experience through coordination of users and cells across a network. It offers flexible aggregation of different network cell carriers independent of the users’ location. 

The implementation with SoftBank was carried out around Tokyo station, one of the busiest train stations in the world, with results showing data throughput increased by up to 40% during peak commute hours.

Mikael Eriksson, head of Ericsson Japan, says: Tokyo presents a challenging network environment with very high mobile data usage with short distances between cell sites. This makes inter-cell coordination complex, which is critical to the aggregation of cell carriers required to achieve high performance. 

“Elastic RAN introduces a new paradigm with respect to the way we achieve inter-cell coordination by creating borderless coordination areas. We are pleased to work with SoftBank to meet their customers' evolving and ever-expanding needs."

More than 270 LTE RAN and evolved packet core networks have been delivered by Ericsson worldwide, with over 200 live commercially.

SoftBank said it will continue to deploy Ericsson’s Elastic RAN solution throughout its dense urban networks, while continuing to develop the product as strategic partners.

Hideyuki Tsukuda, SVP and deputy head of technology unit, SoftBank Corp., says: "The Japanese market is highly developed, and our customers enjoy using the latest mobile broadband technologies with their smartphones and applications.

“We are excited to partner with Ericsson in the first introduction of the Elastic RAN solution to enable peak performance of the most advanced smartphones in the world, in the densest and most challenging areas of our network. We are now expanding Elastic RAN deployment to further deliver high performance throughout our network."