Australian operator Telstra deployed Ericsson’s new packet fronthaul technology, a move the vendor stated delivered significant reductions in downlink and uplink transmission and prepared the operator’s network for RAN virtualisation.

Ericsson stated the deployment at three sites in the Australian state of Victoria using ethernet transport to connect to a nearby baseband site is the first commercial installation of its Router 6673 gateway, enabling fronthaul packetisation for all available FDD radios.

It stated downlink peak fronthaul dropped from 30Gb/s to about 2Gb/s and uplink from 30Gb/s to around 16Gb/s.

Ericsson noted the gateway will enable Telstra to advantage of future cloud RAN packet switched connections

Telstra Network and Infrastructure executive Iskra Nikolova stated the ability to packetise existing FDD radio connections using the fronthaul gateway will allow it to better use a significant investment in 5G radio infrastructure, while benefitting from the rapid evolution of RAN compute technology.

Emilio Romeo, head of Ericsson, Australia and New Zealand, said the deployment is a noteworthy step in the journey towards network virtualisation and centralisation.