Partnership makes step towards nationwide Swiss 5G coverage

7th January 2020
Alex Lynn

An industry step in 5G took place in Switzerland on October 31st when the first over-the-air, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) 5G data call was successfully carried out by Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Swisscom, and Qualcomm Technologies, a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated.

This latest 5G milestone marks the first time an over-the-air, 5G data call using dynamic spectrum sharing has been conducted with a service provider in Switzerland. In September, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies achieved a 5G data call using Ericsson Spectrum Sharing on a 3GPP Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) low band. Together with Swisscom, the ecosystem partners have once again demonstrated leadership in 5G by continuing collaborative efforts to deploy 5G services on a broader scale in Switzerland.

Swisscom was the first service provider in Europe to launch 5G services commercially last April, using the 3.6GHz band, and is now taking the next step toward realising its goal of reaching 5G coverage of 90 percent population by end of this year.

Patrick Weibel, Head of 5G program, Swisscom, said: “Ericsson Spectrum Sharing (ESS) allows Swisscom to best leverage the existing frequency spectrum and infrastructure for 4G and 5G customers, depending on their needs. Spectrum sharing will ensure that Swisscom can provide extensive 5G coverage to its customers as soon as possible.”

Hannes Ekström, Head of Product Line 5G RAN, Ericsson, added: “With Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, service providers can reuse their Ericsson Radio System investments on bands currently used for LTE to support a fast introduction of 5G. This first ESS 5G data call by Swisscom, on commercial platforms, is an important step to enabling cost efficient, nationwide 5G coverage and services.”

Dino Flore, Vice President, Technology, QUALCOMM Europe, added: “Coverage is the next killer app for 5G, and we congratulate Ericsson and Swisscom on this significant milestone. Spectrum Sharing will be a key catalyst for nationwide 5G coverage, helping deliver ubiquitous 5G services to consumers.”

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, which is embedded in Ericsson Radio System, enables a cost-effective and smooth transition from 4G to 5G nationwide coverage through a network software upgrade. The solution will dynamically share spectrum between 4G and 5G carriers based on traffic demand. The switch between carriers happens within milliseconds, which minimises spectrum wastage and allows for best end-user performance. It is compatible with all 5G FDD capable smartphones and other devices based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G Mobile Platform, supporting the standardised spectrum sharing functionality.

These nationwide 5G services will pave the way for the next evolutionary step, such as 5G Standalone (SA) network architecture. 5G SA will be the key enabler for future network capabilities and emerging areas of Mission Critical Communication, Industry 4.0, and other applications.

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