Ericsson teamed with US-based laser company PowerLight Technologies to power what the pair claimed was the first fully wireless 5G base station, marking a major milestone in the vendor’s efforts to improve and deploy new technology for RAN sites.
In a statement, Ericsson explained the proof-of-concept demo was achieved in Seattle, US, using optical beaming, a laser-based technology that converts electricity into high intensity light which is then “captured and transformed” to electricity at the radio base station.
During the demo, no wires were connected to the site from the street power grid network, and no onsite power generation was involved, while the base station site was powerless, until it connected wirelessly “over the air” through a laser beam.
The power was distributed to an Ericsson 5G mmWave base station, with PowerLight’s laser technology transmitting hundreds of watts over hundreds of metres through the air.
“The ability to safely transfer power across distances without having to be connected to the power grid eliminates one of the big obstacles we have when building new cell sites,” claimed Kevin Zvokel, head of networks at Ericsson North America.
The two companies added they aimed to further explore and develop innovative 5G solutions aimed at enhancing the speed and flexibility of network deployment in diverse environments.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back