Ericsson has announced what it claims is the industry's first coordinated network-wide software launch, Networks Software 14B, which is focused on enhancing network performance and enabling operator growth.
More than 200 new and enhanced features are included in the release and have been rigorously tested to ensure smooth rollout. Ericsson tests the software on network equipment with devices from all major vendors.
Performance-enhancing highlights include:
- LTE Carrier Aggregation for three carriers, to reach peak data speeds of 450 Mbps
- LTE Uplink Coordinated Multi Point (UL CoMP), which can provide twice the app coverage for all devices
- Ericsson-unique features for WCDMA, such as Ericsson's Dynamic Power Sharing feature which gives all devices up to 50% faster data speed.
Ken Rehbehn, principal analyst, Yankee Group, commented: "Software is now just as important as the hardware in a network. As network equipment providers drive software innovation, comprehensive release packaging -- along with tools and processes for rapid software roll-out across massively scaled mobile and fixed networks -- provides operators needed agility to confidently launch new capabilities while boosting network performance."
Many of today's solutions, such as voice over LTE (VoLTE) require software interaction between virtually every part of a network. Ericsson has industrialised upgradability, meeting the requirement for large-scale software release processes that ensure a fast and reliable way to move to the latest software release for telecom operators.
Johan Wibergh, Executive VP and head of Networks, Ericsson, said: "We promise and deliver proven network quality and industrialised upgradability for any size network. Traffic is growing, but also changing and in order to keep pace network evolution must be driven by software. Nowadays, a network is only as good as the software release it is running and by staying on the latest release operators will benefit from enhanced performance and growth."
One new feature addressing operator growth is the Virtual Home Gateway. It offers personalized service chaining for devices and users while simplifying operator network management.
The enterprise segment is addressed with the external release of IMS software functionality for VisualCom, enabling HD video conferencing that is as easy and reliable as a phone call.
Upgrading to the latest software release means getting all the benefits from previous releases combined with new functionality to further enhance capability in the network.
Measurements from live commercial networks show that operators the run the latest release of network software have on average 30% better downlink speeds and a staggering 50% improvement in uplink speeds compared to operators running on older software.
Release 14B also adds features to further guarantee network robustness. Critical nodes get enhanced redundancy, for example Inter-chassis redundancy in the SSR and Geo-redundancy in the Blade System
Networks Software 14B will be available for network roll-out later this year, when all features and functionality have been tested and confirmed in live networks. Network Software 14B will be demonstrated in Ericsson's Hall 2, Stand 2S60 at Mobile World Congress.