Ericsson lifts Japan business with SoftBank Mobile demonstration

Ericsson conducted its first demonstration of a new software feature designed to optimise radio performance and cut signalling traffic in conjunction with Japanese operator SoftBank Mobile.

The Swedish equipment vendor said it is working closely with SoftBank Mobile to develop its Mobility-based Policy software element, which is designed to improve subscribers' experience in highly congested networks. Ericsson said SoftBank Mobile is targeting improvements in its Tokyo network during peak times.

Yoichi Funabiki, director of the Mobile Network Planning Division at SoftBank Mobile's Core Network, said it is "critical to optimize our spectrum" to meet growth in data traffic. He added that Ericsson's software-based approach "has the potential to increase our network flexibility while reducing signalling traffic network wide."

An Ericsson statement explains that the software feature directly connects Ericsson's Serving GPRS Support Node - Mobility Management Entity (SGSN-MME) with its' service-aware policy controller, enabling select policy decisions to be sent back to the SGSN-MME. In doing so, the approach offloads the gateway and so enhances location-based mobile user experience while reducing signalling traffic in the network.

Jan Signell, Ericsson's North East Asia head, said the demonstration highlights how the company is working with SoftBank Mobile to "consistently enhance the performance and user experience on their mobile network."

The demonstration in Japan is timely for Ericsson, which reported a drop in business from the country during the second quarter of 2014. Hans Vestberg, the company's CEO, said the reduced activity in Japan was offset by strong sales in the Middle East and Africa, along with China and India.

Mobile broadband capacity projects in advanced LTE markets formed a larger part of Ericsson's network business during the second quarter, helping to improve the division's gross margin, Vestberg noted.

Ericsson grew its net income grow 76 per cent year on year to SEK2.7 billion (€293 million/$393 million) during the period, as sales fell a marginal 1 per cent.

For more:
- see Ericsson's demonstration announcement

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