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Setting the pace for sustainable networks, Ericsson has introduced a new triple-band, tri-sector radio that boasts a capacity of nine radios for single-band sites. The new Radio 6646 cuts energy consumption by 40% compared to triple-band single-sector radios and reduces weight – with its use of aluminum – by 60%, minimizing site footprint as well.

The new radio extends the multiband capabilities of Ericsson tri-sector products by combining 900, 800 and 700MHz frequency bands into one compact 2G to 5G-capable radio. As a sustainable solution for communications service providers (CSPs), Radio 6646’s low-band spectrum capabilities significantly boost both 5G coverage and mid-band (3.5GHz) performance energy efficiency.

A 40% reduction in energy usage can translate to yearly savings per site that is comparable to charging an electric car 40 times. Moreover, the 60% reduction in weight of the new triple-band, tri-sector radio will further help CSPs to minimize deployment costs, tower rent and carbon footprint.

Vicente Abad, RAN technology and support manager at Telefonica Spain, noted, “Ericsson’s new Radio 6646 will offer a highly compact and flexible solution to expand 5G coverage in a very cost-efficient manner while being economical and sustainable – the footprint and energy consumption achieved are something we believe will be a powerful driver for 5G, and we look forward to the first deployments in Spain.”

Meanwhile, David Hammarwall, head of product area networks at Ericsson, said, “Our new energy-efficient radio uniquely combines spectrum capabilities in an easy-to-install form factor. This will simplify deployments and extend 5G coverage, starting in Europe. With this latest innovation, service providers can scale up 5G Standalone deployments with new applications for consumers, enterprises, and mission-critical communications.”

Radio 6646 expands the wide-area reach and outside-in coverage from rooftops and towers to indoor locations such as offices, basements, stores, and homes. It will also increase the capacity of 5G networks, especially when combined with mid-band TDD over Carrier Aggregation and 5G Standalone (5G SA).

Additionally, the new radio supports the 700MHz band, which is expected to be one of the key spectrums for 5G SA deployments, where low bands extend the performance and reach of mid-band TDD. With three low bands combined, Radio 6646 will enhance both outdoor and indoor coverage for all mobile generations – 2G to 5G – as well as IoT. The frequencies are widely supported by devices and provide immense potential to increase the growth of 5G services.

Radio 6646 follows the 2021 launch of the dual-band, tri-sector Radio 6626, which is commercially available across global markets. Earlier this year, Ericsson unveiled seven new 5G RAN solutions that deliver sizeable energy savings and up to ten-fold capacity increases – all with minimal or no added footprint.

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