With 5G deployment and adoption spreading more rapidly than expected, Ericsson will launch new software and hardware solutions aimed at expanding deployment options, the telecom company announced Monday.

By 2024, 45% of the world’s population will have 5G coverage, Ericsson found in its recent Mobility Report. This number could surge to 65% as spectrum sharing technology allows for 5G deployments on LTE frequency bands.

SEE: 5G mobile networks: An insider’s guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Ericsson’s new deployment solutions extend network capacity and coverage to aid in evolving the network and allowing for new customer and industry use cases, according to a press release.

The additions include the following:

  • 5G standalone New Radio (NR) software

While Ericsson already supported service providers with commercial 5G rollouts using non-standalone (NSA) 5G NR, it has now introduced 5G standalone NR software, which offers benefits such as ultra-low latency and better coverage, the release noted.

The standalone 5G NR software can be installed on existing Ericsson Radio System hardware, and is aimed at opening new business opportunities for service providers, offering advanced support for network slicing and new services.

  • Edge Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI)

Ericsson’s new Edge NFVI will add edge computing to its cloud solution to allow service providers to offer new consumer and enterprise 5G services like augmented reality (AR) and content distribution at low cost, low latency, and high accuracy, according to the release.

Edge NFVI is optimized for the network edge, and part of the end-to-end managed and orchestrated distributed cloud architecture, making it possible to distribute workloads, optimize the networks, and enable new services in the cloud, the release noted.

  • Virtual network function vendors certification program

Ericsson will launch a partner certification program for virtual network functions (VNF) called the VNF Certification Service. The service is open to all VNF vendors, and grants them a certification on the Ericsson NFVI platform using Ericsson Labs. The goal is to create an ecosystem with a shorter time-to-market for working with partners and applications, according to the release.

“The series of solutions being added to the Ericsson 5G platform will allow service providers to deploy 5G sensibly and address new business opportunities with full flexibility,” Hugh Ujhazy, vice president of IoT and telecommunications at IDC, said in the release. “What you get is faster, cheaper, makes better use of existing assets and with fewer truck rolls.”

For more, check out 5G mobile networks: A cheat sheet on TechRepublic.

Image: iStockphoto/sarayut