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Getting wired with Ericsson's CTO

Posted: 11 Jun 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wired network? wireless network? edge routing?

We also have new antenna technology launched last year which makes it easier to deploy MIMO [mobile input, mobile output antennas] to better use frequency bands because a lot of spectrum will be needed for mobile networks. T-Mobile is doing a big roll out of it in the U.S.

EET: How will small cell base stations impact the cellular networks?

Ewaldsson: It's very important to have a good macro base station network, and we will develop a lot of technologies for the macro net. But we still have to make the macro network more dense with smaller cells.

All the macro and small cells base stations will be part of a heterogeneous network. All the radio points must be coordinated in these HetNets because the spectrum licenses are valuable assets for the carriers, and it's important not to pollute that spectrum with interference.

Once we accomplish this, we can synchronize, for example, three coordinated radio sources to a single mobile device. This possibility already is in the standards, and we are working to deploy it.

EET: What about efforts in Cloud Radio Access Networks that want to run much of the wireless nets on pools of servers?

Ewaldsson: Cloud RAN is a fashionable word, but it still needs to be defined. Some operators see it as separating hardware and software and working with server architectures. That's not really possible. It's like running a router on a serveryou could do it, but only on small scale.

The hardware in the RAN is very specific. It's one of the areas where you need to use ASICs. But you can pool some baseband resources. That's becoming very popular.

We have built 600-700 basebands into one pool and then put out radios connected to it. We've done a number of deployments like that. But the interface needs to run at 5-10Gb/s and that cannot be on anything but [relatively expensive] optical fiber.

EET: So you still see a strong role for ASICs in Ericsson?

Ewaldsson: We could not get the performance out of the LTE networks we provide without having our own silicon for that purpose. The same goes for the routers. We also have a number of co-operations with processor vendors to make the most of their products.

We are monitoring everything in hardware from filter to processor technology and gallium nitride transistors. Personally, I think hardwareas well as softwarewill be very important for our business.

- Rick Merritt
??EE Times

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