All the buzz right now is 4G LTE build outs, but in one laboratory the 5G future is being forged.
Samsung Electronics announced that it has developed an first adaptive array transceiver technology operating in the millimeter-wave Ka bands for cellular communications and will provide data transmission speeds of up to several tens of Gbps per base station.
The millimeter-wave spectrum provides wide bands, which are good for high speed data, but the RF propagation makes for very short hops, at least that was true in the past. Samsung out to defeat theses propagation limitations by implementing adaptive array transceiver technology to achieve speeds of more than a gigabit over distances of up to 2 kilometers in the 28 GHz band.
Ted Abrams, consultant, AWI, told AGL Bulletin, “A 1.06 Gbps data highway across 2 kilometers of free space is something to be proud of, and Ethernet traffic will profitably flow at 28 GHz and beyond to the benefit of transport providers as well as consumers.”
The adaptive array transceiver uses 64 antenna elements to overcome the radio propagation loss at millimeter-wave bands, much higher than the conventional frequency bands ranging from several hundred MHz to several GHz. Commercialization of the technologies is expected by 2020.
“Innovative and commercially viable, adaptive array applications such as this latest Samsung development continue to increase bandwidth across wireless links,” Abrams said.
Samsung is not along in the 5G wireless quest. China established a government-led “IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group” for 5G research in February 2012, while the European Commission also plans to invest 50 million Euros in 2013 to bring 5G services to the market by 2020.
Abrams was already looking forward with anticipation to the next development at the vendor. “When Samsung next raises the bar to bi-directional throughput of 3-5 Gbps, then that ultra-fast wireless link could be converted away from Ethernet to native CPRI – Wow!”
More Work to Do on LTE-A…
A network trial in a crowded Japanese city has demonstrated that LTE-A technology can support speeds of 770 Mbps in the 3.5 GHz band, making use of Carrier Aggregation, Coordinated Multi-Point and Cloud baseband.
The demonstration was held in late August and was hosted by the Global TD-LTE Initiative . Issues discussed at the seminar included speeding up the release of 3.5GHz spectrum and adopting the same technologies to share the same ecosystem.
Japanese mobile operator and Sprint investor SoftBank held the demonstration in Tokyo’s densely urban Ginza district in cooperation with China Mobile, UK Broadband, representatives from the WiMAX Forum, as well as chipset companies.
A pre-commercial network-level performance evaluation conducted during the demo determined the network could provide a top user experience in Tokyo’s densely populated Ginza district. It was during this evaluation that advanced LTE-A technologies for the 3.5GHz band were demonstrated. The LTE-A technologies demonstration showed Huawei’s equipment can provide a max 770 Mb/s download speed and an average 500 Mb/s download speed over multiple network sites.
SoftBank also demonstrated a “five-carrier CA” technology for LTE TDD on the 3.5GHz band using a prototype system that can provide a max 1.2 Gb/s download speed when run on Huawei’s Ultra-wideband RRU (Remote Radio Unit). When deployed, a combination of Ultra-wideband RRUs can support more than 100 MHz instantaneous bandwidth and can be customized on-demand to accommodate new spectrum as it becomes available.