In October, 2015, Ericsson launched a new proprietary LTE software innovation, called Ericsson Lean Carrier, to improve both the user experience and the spectrum efficiency of mobile networks by applying 5G ultra lean design concepts to today’s LTE networks.
Both Telstra and SK Telecom have confirmed support for Ericsson Lean Carrier software in their commercial LTE networks. In February, 2016, Signals Research Group (SRG) conducted independent testing on the Telstra 4G LTE service, verifying the increased utilization of both 256 QAM and 64 QAM when Ericsson Lean Carrier software was enabled.
Michael Thelander, President and Founder, Signals Research Group, says: “Our testing reflects that, with Ericsson Lean Carrier, the user experience and network efficiency benefits of higher order modulation techniques, both 256 QAM and 64 QAM, in fixed and mobile applications, can be delivered more often and over a broader coverage area. It is evident in our geo plots that the 256 QAM modulation scheme was used far more frequently when Ericsson Lean Carrier was enabled – this was a very pleasant surprise since 256 QAM was solely targeted for use in small cells when first introduced. We foresee tremendous advantages associated with deploying 256 QAM throughout an operator’s macro network.
Telstra configured the network so that SRG could conduct testing with Ericsson Lean Carrier enabled and disabled, ensuring a valid basis for comparison. Ericsson was not aware of the test campaign until just prior to SRG releasing the study in its subscription-based Signals Ahead publication. The user device for the testing was the NETGEARTM 810S mobile hotspot (Category 11 device) with the Qualcomm Snap dragonTM X12 LTE modem. The device supports 256 QAM and three 20 MHz FDD carriers.
Mike Wright, Telstra Group Managing Director, Networks, says: “Telstra is pleased to have provided a world leading network platform for SRG to independently verify the performance benefits of Ericsson Lean Carrier. The Telstra mobile network already supports devices capable of download speeds of up to 600 Mbps enabled with 256 QAM and Ericsson Lean Carrier, and we were pleased that Signals Research Group noted, ‘There are very few LTE networks anywhere in the world where this level of performance can be observed.