Ericsson launches new 5G test lab at Kanata R&D facility

Ericsson Open Lab
The new Ericsson Open Lab is based at the Swedish tech giant's Kanata R&D facility. Photo courtesy Ericsson

Swedish tech giant Ericsson has launched a new lab at its state-of-the-art Kanata R&D facility that will allow researchers from around the world to collaborate remotely on 5G wireless technology projects.

The space, dubbed Ericsson Open Lab, will provide a forum for Ericsson’s global partners and customers to develop technology in the emerging field of virtualized 5G Radio Access Networks (RAN).

Previous generations of the wireless internet were built on proprietary technology, making it difficult to maintain and upgrade as new tech came out of research hubs. The closed nature of the enterprise also limited participation by smaller competitors. 

Ericsson says the new lab will open up wireless technology development to more players, allowing for easier upgrading, implementation, testing and maintenance. The lab takes its name from Open RAN, the catch-all term for these emerging technologies.

The virtual lab seeks to promote collaboration with service providers while allowing them to test new use cases and software instantaneously. While the lab will be housed in Kanata, Ericsson will support its work from facilities around the world.

“We have created this collaboration to develop architectures and common operating standards that complement existing 5G-ready technology,” Ericsson executive vice-president Fredrik Jejdling said in a statement.

The Swedish firm says it will work with partners such as SoftBank Group, KDDI and Kanata-based Wind River Systems to create a more open approach to wireless technology R&D.

“We look forward to our continued collaboration with Ericsson and its Open Lab to accelerate the innovation of building the most advanced mobile infrastructure,” Ryuji Wakikawa, the head of Softbank’s advanced technology division said in a statement.