A technology milestone based on the newly-approved 5G NR standard has been achieved by Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies in collaboration with several global carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US and Verizon. 3GPP-compliant 5G NR multi-vendor interoperability was demonstrated in both the Ericsson Lab in Kista, Sweden, and the Qualcomm Research lab in New Jersey, USA.
The demonstrations show the companies’ combined strength in carrying out timely trials that pave the way for commercial launches of 5G standard-compliant infrastructure and devices. Ericsson’s 5G NR pre-commercial base stations and Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G NR UE prototypes will enable operators to conduct live tests in their own networks.
“The network of the future is being built – and it’s happening fast,” says Marachel Knight of AT&T. “We’re excited to be a part of standards-based interoperability testing as this helps speed up development of 5G devices and hardware and helps pave the way to launch standards-based 5G NR service as soon as the end of 2018.”
The over-the-air interoperability development testing was conducted for lower layer data connections operating at both 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands. These just standardized layers are the fundamental building blocks of 5G NR.
“Tremendous progress is being made in the development of 5G NR for our sub-6 GHz spectrum, the largest such block available for wide-scale use in the United States,” says Dr. John Saw of Sprint.
NSA 5G NR will use the existing LTE radio and evolved packet core network as an anchor for mobility management and coverage while adding a new 5G NR radio access carrier to enable certain 5G use cases starting in 2019.
“This achievement is a major step forward toward our commitment to build a nationwide 5G network by 2020 and bring 5G to our customers,” says Neville Ray of T-Mobile. “The demonstration used both millimeter wave and spectrum below 6GHz – proving the Un-carrier vision that spectrum across all bands will be used for 5G.”