Ericsson taps Kathrein know-how for new 5G mid-band solutions

Ericsson recognizes that physical space restrictions at some base station sites are a challenge for communications service providers that want to extend their footprint to include 5G. (Ericsson)

Ericsson can thank Kathrein for some of its innovations in the mid-band 5G antenna space, including the Hybrid AIR and Interleaved AIR solutions that it’s touting today. Ericsson’s mid-band solutions target the 1 GHz to 6 GHz bands.

Ericsson closed on the acquisition of Kathrein’s antenna and filter division for an undisclosed sum last fall, citing the increasing importance of advanced active and passive antennas in 5G.

One of the obvious challenges in siting gear is the physical space required, and Ericsson says no extra space at existing sites is needed with its new solutions. When deployed with Massive MIMO, service providers can deploy mid-band 5G with the new solutions faster and on a larger scale, according to the Swedish vendor.

“It’s a footprint issue. At some network sites, size literally is everything,” said Per Narvinger, head of Product Area Networks at Ericsson, in a statement. “Communications service providers globally often have limited possibilities to increase the space occupied by network equipment. They need solutions that fit in existing sites and still provide great performance.”

With the Hybrid AIR and Interleaved AIR solutions, “we can help our customers to quickly deliver the benefits of 5G Massive MIMO to more end users,” he added. “This launch also shows the effectiveness of fully integrated Kathrein Mobile Communication products in our Ericsson Radio System.” 

The Hybrid AIR and Interleaved AIR can combine antenna-integrated radios and multiband passive antenna technology in one enclosure; a simulation shows the upgrade can result in up to seven times greater mobile broadband capacity than currently available from existing multi-band antennas.

RELATED: Ericsson Q4 results hit by uncertainty of T-Mobile/Sprint deal

According to Ericsson, the capacity gains come from improved Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) spectral efficiencies, new FDD bands and added Massive MIMO mid-bands. The new AIR solutions also boost 4G capacity.

The vendor already is working with Swisscom in Switzerland and the Vodafone Group on deployments of the new solutions.