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Ericsson amps up its low latency game

Swedish kit vendor Ericsson has put out some fresh software that makes the claim to ensure constant reduced latency for stuff like VR and remote control. 

If anything is perceived of as truly unique about 5G, is its reduced latency. Additional bandwidth and arguably improved IoT support are merely enhancements of what was already present but the near-eradication of delay across mobile networks is predicted to unlock all types of nifty new use-cases like mobile-enabled virtual reality and the capacity to remotely manage things over 5G. 

That technological dawn has taken its time to arrive on the horizon, however, which is what Ericsson is seeking to tackle with its new Time-Critical Communication software toolbox. The vendor claims it “will ensure the consistent low latency and high reliability demanded by time-bound applications and services,’ according to the press release. 

“Ericsson continues to put forth innovation after innovation in the 5G space that drive the international uptake of 5G,” stated Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks. “Now we are taking 5G to the next level with Time-Critical Communication, a solution that will provide our clients the utilities to go about expanding their offerings for the customer, enterprise, and public sectors and subsequently monetize 5G effectively.” 

It was a bit of a surprise to learn such a thing was required following the hype with regards to 5G and reduced latency, and as a result, some clarification was required. By putting forth Time-Critical Communication in 5G networks, the latency aspect has been given prioritization over throughput, which is an essential difference when contrasting with improved mobile broadband, which is best effort only. 

“Ericsson has detected six primary causes of latency and interruption in mobile networks, which includes congestion, radio environment, mobility, standards or protocols, power saving, network topology. Ericsson looks at Time-Critical Communication by tackling these sources of latency and interruptions while basically co-existing with improved mobile broadband and other services within the network.” 

The presumption is that this software comes into its own during the course of network slicing, when a client is looking to prioritize the reduced latency capacities of the network over all others. It is, although, an add-on to the wider Ericsson RAN offering that you have to pay more for, so it’s only available to Ericsson RAN clients. 

Ericsson trotted out a few of them to speak with regards to their reduced latency adventures and, suffice to state, they all specified it’s amazing. We’re unaware of any equivalent launches from Ericsson’s primary competition, so this could provide Ericsson an advantage in this domain. Having stated that, several of the use-cases, like mobile VR, are still some way from establishing their commercial viability. 

It’s clearly a massive deal for Ericsson though. 

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