LONDON Ericsson has further extended the commonality of its switching platforms for W-CDMA and CDMA2000 so that it will have just one software and hardware offering. The company says a common 3G portfolio will give it better production efficiency and allow it to focus its R&D resources.
Ericsson's two 3G platforms now use the same core technology for radio and packet networks, switching and applications/control. The company says its strategy will ensure service transparency across W-CDMA and CDMA2000 with a common service network framework.
"We have been working on increasing commonality and merging the two standards for a while now so as to minimize both the hardaware and software components and eventually we will have just the one platform", Peter Olofsson, director of corporate relations at Ericsson Communications told CommsDesign.com.
He said about 90% of the 3G infrastructure that is now shipping is common across the two air interface technologies, and that operators using Ericsson base stations would just need to swap two card slots in the cabinet to convert from CDMA to W-CDMA and vice-versa.
Other infrastructure suppliers, including Alcatel , Nortel and Nokia are also known to be unifiying their equipment, but Ericsson believes it now has a start on the competition in being able to offer such a high level of platform harmonization
The on-going efforts were highlighted this week at a seminar organized by Ericsson in Beijing, China. "Our technology agnostic approach is redefining the industry," claimed Carl-Henric Svanberg, CEO of Ericsson.
"We will be able to offer the same industry leading 3G products to any operator, no matter what 3G technology they select," he added. "This enables us to increase our economies-of-scale and maximize the effectiveness of our R&D."
The merged 3G portfolio is being designed with evolution in mind and easy upgrade to support W-CDMA Evolved (HSDPA) and CDMA2000 1X Evolved (EV-DO and EV-DV).
Senior executives at the Beijing event also reiterated the need for China to avoid further delays in awarding 3G licenses. "There is really no need for China to be waiting. The two standards are now proven and being deployed worldwide, so the country should decide as soon as possible", Olofsson said.
He suggested that if the TD-SCDMA specification being developed primarily for China, mainly by Siemens and Datang Mobile Communications proves to be a good standard, "we would consider building equipment to support that technology as well. It would clearly be a good business opportunity, and we are monitoring the development of TD-SCDMA closely."