Ericsson is supplementing its 5G New Radio (NR) platform by introducing the Air 3246, a radio that supports frequency division duplex (FDD) and massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology. FDD technology is different from time division duplex (TDD) because it uses two separate spectrum channels each for uplink and downlink communications.
Ericsson’s addition of this FDD radio to its 5G platform is significant because it will make it easier for some operators to deploy 5G in mid-band spectrum and also add capacity to existing 4G networks. Ericsson’s 5G platform was initially introduced in February, and already provides support for TDD and massive MIMO.
The platform also supports federated network slicing for 5G, which makes it possible for an operator to provide a network service globally. This will make it possible for an enterprise to have one agreement with an operator for global service.
T-Mobile US is testing FDD Massive MIMO in three sites in Baltimore. This is the first time that standardized FDD Massive MIMO is being used to carry LTE traffic in the 600 MHz spectrum band.
FDD Massive MIMO can increase network capacity up to three times and also improve throughput.
Ericsson said its Air 3246 will be available in the second quarter of 2018.