Ericsson has unveiled the latest addition to its Massive MIMO portfolio – the ultra-lightweight antenna-integrated radio AIR 3268 – for easier and efficient 5G mid-band deployments in dense urban and suburban areas.
At 12 kg and 23 litres, AIR 3268 is the lightest and smallest Massive MIMO radio in the industry. With 200W output power, 32 transceivers and passive cooling, the radio weighs about 40 percent less than the earlier generation, making installations easy not only on towers and roof tops but also on poles and walls.
The radio will help to accelerate 5G mid-band deployment for communications service providers seeking to boost capacity, coverage, speeds and mobile experiences for their subscribers.
Ericsson’s latest radio is 10 percent more energy-efficient than the earlier generation, lowering the total added power consumption when introducing 5G on mid-band. It also supports Ericsson’s unique Massive MIMO architecture and uplink booster capabilities that deliver leading network performance.
Ericsson has developed AIR 3268 in partnership with BT to address 5G challenges. Through the development process, the ultra-lightweight radio has been designed for 5G mid-band Massive MIMO performance to deliver the benefits of deployment simplicity and improved energy efficiency.
Greg McCall, managing director of Service Platforms, BT Group, says: “The 3.5 GHz band and Massive MIMO technology are important to our 5G network strategy to deliver the best customer experience in urban areas.
David Hammarwall, head of product line radio at Ericsson, says: “We continue to revolutionise Massive MIMO with ultra-lightweight radios that allow easier site upgrades and more seamless 5G mid-band deployments. AIR 3268 widens the options for the radio site, allowing service providers to boost their networks and deliver faster 5G speeds and response times. It is also energy-efficient, which is important.”
With its size and weight, AIR 3268 will simplify upgrades and new site acquisitions even in locations where footprint may prove challenging. The new radio also supports Ericsson’s mini bracket, providing lower total weight and easier installations.
AIR 3268 joins the family of ultra-lightweight radios launched in February this year. Like the rest of the company’s M assive MIMO radios, it is designed with Ericsson Silicon, providing real-time channel estimation and ultra-precise beamforming that improves coverage and user experience.
Ericsson also offers optimised site solutions with integrated transport for dense urban areas as part of its comprehensive transport and site solutions portfolio.