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Ericsson ups the ante with its reduced latency game

If anything is perceived as being really innovative about 5G it is its low latency. Extra bandwidth and considerably enhanced IoT support are simply refinements of what’s presently available but the near-eradication of delay across mobile networks is predicted to unlock all types of whizzy new use-cases like mobile-enabled virtual reality and the capacity to remotely handle things over 5G. 

That tech new dawn has taken its time to come, however, this is exactly what Ericsson is looking to tackle with its new Time-Critical Communication software toolbox. The vendor states that it will “guarantee the consistent reduced latency and increased reliability required by time-bound applications and services,’ going by the press release. 

“Ericsson persists to put forth innovative 5G products and solutions that drive the international uptake of 5G,” stated Per Narvinger, Lead of Product Area Networks. “Currently we are taking 5G to the next level with Time-Critical Communication, a solution that will provide our clients with the utilities to widen their products for the consumer, enterprise, and public sectors and subsequently monetize 5G effectively.” 

We were a bit shocked to learn that such a thing was required following all the hype surrounding 5G and reduced latency, Marie Hogan – Head of Mobile Broadband Voice & New Business at Ericsson, to look for a bit of clarification. “Current mobile networks integrated with 5G are built for mobile broadband type of services, optimizing for data rates or high throughputs with no guarantees with regards to latency,” explained Hogan.  

“In contrast, Time-Critical Communication is designed to secure data delivery within specific latency bounds with the desired reliability. By introducing Time-Critical Communication in 5G networks, the latency aspect has been given priority over throughput, which is a basic difference when compared with improved mobile broadband, which is only best effort. 

“Ericsson has honed in on major reasons for latency and interruption in mobile networks, which include congestion, radio environment, mobility, standards of protocol, power saving, network topology. Ericsson approaches Time-Critical Communication by tackling these sources of latency and interruptions while effectively co-existing with improved mobile broadband and other services in the network.” 

Presumably this software comes into its own during network slicing, when a client is looking to prioritize the reduced latency capabilities of the network over all others. It is, however, an add-on to the wider Ericsson RAN offering that you have to incur extra expenses for, so it’s only available to Ericsson RAN customers. 

Ericsson trotted out some of them to speak about their low latency adventures and, suffice it to say, they all stated that’s great. We do not know of any equivalent launches from Ericsson’s primary competition, so this could provide Ericsson an edge in this space. Having stated that, several of the use-cases, like mobile VR, are still some way from proving their commercial viability. 

It’s clearly a major deal for Ericsson though, they even got the primary man to produce a video about it. 


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