Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and SK Telecom recently announced plans to conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials based on 5G New Radio (NR) standards being developed based on specifications in 3GPP. The trials intend to drive the mobile ecosystem toward rapid validation and commercialization of 5G NR technologies at scale, enabling timely commercial network launches based on 3GPP Rel-15 standard compliant 5G NR infrastructure and devices.
In the trials, the Companies will showcase new 5G NR technologies that utilize wide bandwidths available at higher frequency bands to increase network capacity and achieve multi-gigabit per second data rates. These technologies will be critical to meeting the increasing consumer connectivity requirements for emerging consumer mobile broadband experiences such as virtual reality, augmented reality and connected cloud services. Additionally, the proliferation of 5G NR technology can make it more cost-effective and easier for multi-gigabit Internet service to reach more homes and businesses.
The trials will employ 3GPP 5G NR Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques to deliver robust and sustained mobile broadband communications at higher frequency bands, including non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments and device mobility. It will also make use of scalable OFDM-based waveforms and a new flexible framework design that are also part of the 5G NR specifications. The trials are expected to yield valuable insight into the unique challenges of integrating 5G NR technologies into mobile networks and devices.
The interoperability testing and trials, which will launch in Korea starting in the second half of 2017, are intended to track closely with, as well as help accelerate, the first 3GPP 5G NR specification that will be part of Release 15 – the global 5G standard that will make use of both sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum bands. Tracking the 3GPP specification is important because it promotes adherence and validation with the global 5G standard, accelerating the time to standard-compliant devices and infrastructure. It will also drive forward compatibility to future 3GPP 5G NR releases.