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CTIA Super Mobility 2016: OEMs Strutting 5G Stuff, Drones Fly In

By Ernest Worthman

Executive Editor
AGL Small Cell Magazine

EDITORS’ NOTE: This is part two of a four-part series where we deep dive the technology display at the CTIA Super Mobility 2016.


5G had a significant presence during CTIA Super Mobility 2016, considering it is still early in the game. The 5G launch pad really showed off what is beginning to happen in the 5G arena.

Ericsson demonstrated a 5G prototype radio system that showed data rates in excess of 100 Gbps. Intel’s 5G mobile platform integrated components, including an application processor, baseband processor, and other components for devices targeted at frequencies up to 40 GHz. They also showed off their next-generation RFIC, which is spec’d with an integrated 28 GHz antenna system that is capable of both beam steering and beam forming.


Ericsson’s Booth

Qualcomm had its mobile broadband ecosystem up for demonstration. It presented possible applications in remotely piloted vehicles (RPV); a 5G mmWave system that, like Intel, offers beam forming, a beam-tracking platform; and a 5G NR system that offers multi-Gb data rates with ultra-low latency. They also had a narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) display, which explained emerging technologies such as enhancements for machine-type communications (eMTC) and how they work.

Qualcomm's 5G tech

Qualcomm’s 5G tech

There was also EC-GSM-IoT, which in combination with power saving mode (PSM) and extended discontinuous reception (e-DRX), makes GSM/EDGE markets capable of supporting Internet of Anything (IoX) platforms.

There was a smattering of other 5G offerings from companies such as ZTE, which showed off a high-frequency prototype system that supports adaptive beam tracking in non-line of sight (NLOS) systems capable of offering up to a 500 MHz bandwidth with a peak throughput of 10 Gbps.


Remotely piloted vehicles, i.e. drones, had a notable, although not particularly large presence – and the major focus was consumer. There was some showing of drones in surveillance scattered about, but it was mostly just showing how drones fly. But there was this amazing drone airfield where drone vendors were able to show off drone technology. While there isn’t much new in drones, except for the incremental improvements in efficiency, optics and power, the airfield was the wow factor.

Check back in on Thursday when Ernest will spotlight the smart technologies exhibited at CTIA Super Mobile 2016.

Wi-Fi to be Deployed Using Small Cell as a Service Business Model

August 9, 2016 — Ericsson will provide Wi-Fi connectivity to Ricoh Arena stadium in Coventry, England, using the Small Cell as a Service business model. As a result, visitors to the stadium will receive carrier-grade Wi-Fi connectivity and value-added services accessible via a mobile app. Under the terms of the 10-year agreement, Ericsson will provide Wasps rugby team and the Ricoh Arena with a complete, managed solution, including planning, design, implementation, integration, optimization and maintenance services.

To ensure fans receive seamless wireless coverage, Ericsson will design, plan, build and optimize a carrier-grade Wi-Fi access network, and then manage it on behalf of the stadium owner – Wasps Holdings Ltd. The Ericsson Networked Event platform will also be used to facilitate the creation of an app that provides location-specific news, information and value-added services.

“We believe Small Cell as a Service is the most efficient, cost-effective means of enhancing connectivity in stadiums,” said Valter D’Avino, head of Region Western & Central Europe at Ericsson. “We’re pleased that Wasps has become the first rugby club to take advantage of Small Cell as a Service, and we have some very exciting ideas about how to evolve our new partnership in the years to come by introducing other innovative solutions from our portfolio. Together we will make the Ricoh Arena one of the most technologically advanced venues in the United Kingdom.”

As part of the agreement, the Ricoh Arena’s exhibition venue – which regularly hosts sports fan villages, concerts for up to 12,000 people, sports events and tradeshows – will be re-branded as the Ericsson Exhibition Hall.




Vodafone, Ericsson Demonstrate 5G Proof of Concept

Ericsson and Vodafone have demonstrated a new 5G proof of concept following their joint commitment to 5G innovation announced during Mobile World Congress of this year. The two companies created a 5G Smart Network Edge prototype including a 5G-ready core and demonstrated the benefits of network slicing and distributed cloud technology using the example of a “Machine Vision” application.

Machine Vision can be used for quality assurance within manufacturing and production processes and to measure or recognize objects. In a typical setup, pictures provided by high-speed cameras are processed, analyzed and trigger further actions such as sorting out defective parts. In a live demo shown during the Innovation Days at Ericsson’s R&D Center in Aachen, Germany, both companies showed how the 5G Smart Network Edge enables much greater efficiency for industry.

Because of reduced network latencies, the recognition rate of a cloud-based face detection application was increased. Significantly less video traffic had to be sent over the wide-area network and sensitive data was kept locally and was therefore better protected against unauthorized access.

NTT DoCoMo Reports ‘5G’ Milestones

By J. Sharpe Smith

Senior Editor
AGL eDigest

NTT DoCoMo has completed a network slicing proof of concept with Ericsson and trialed sizzling fast, low-latency video transmission with Nokia. Both achievements are touted giant leaps using “5G” network technology.

Ericsson’s network slicing technology virtually partitions a physical network into multiple co-existing networks, simultaneously enabling varying services to be delivered simultaneously. The PoC will be exhibited as part of an augmented-reality application at 5G World in London, UK on June 28 to June 30.

“Network slicing has the potential to simultaneously deliver diverse cutting-edge 5G services, for enhanced entertainment as well as further effective and secure communication,” said Hiroshi Nakamura, senior vice president and GM of R&D Strategy Department, NTT DoCoMo. “We expect the results of our PoC with Ericsson will play an important role in the realization of highly efficient and secure 5G networking technologies.”

8K Video Achieved Using ‘5G’ Radio Access Technology

In a joint trial with Nokia, NTT DoCoMo reportedly has achieved the world’s first wireless real-time transmission of 8K video with 5G radio access technology, using beam-tracking techniques to transmit millimeter wavelength signals at 70 GHz.

In the trial, 8K video of 48 Gbps was compressed by the encoder into signals ranging from 145 Mbps to 85 Mbps and transmitted. The video technology was demonstrated during the 5G Tokyo Bay Summit 2016, part of the Wireless Technology Park 2016.

AT&T, Sprint Mark 5G Milestones

By J. Sharpe Smith

Senior Editor
AGL eDigest

With the race to 5G officially on, two U.S. carriers, AT&T and Sprint, this week proudly announced their first achievements in this new frontier of wireless connectivity. Verizon Wireless is field testing at 28 GHz, but has not reported results, and T-Mobile plans trials in the second half of 2016 in the 28 GHz band, as well.



“Each of these trials is looking at better understanding the new techniques and possibilities of 5G and learning from them,” said Chris Pearson, president, 5G Americas. “All the major nationwide carriers have laid out their plans for 5G testing, each being a little different.”

AT&T reached speeds above 10 gigabits per second in early 5G tests with Ericsson, and it is now working with Nokia to expand its 5G lab trial work into system and software architecture in Middletown, New Jersey, Atlanta and San Ramon, California.

“We’ve seen great results in our 5G lab trials,” said Tom Keathley, senior vice president – wireless network architecture and design, AT&T. “Nokia is joining to help us test millimeter wave, which we expect to play a key role in 5G development and deployment.” The OEM is supplying test equipment for a variety of 5G technology building blocks and features.

In addition to reaching multi-gigabit speeds, the carrier’s initial 5G lab trials also simulate
real-world environment conditions, such as data spikes similar to a concert or football game.

Sprint Gets its Kicks with 5G

The other major announcement this week was Sprint’s demonstration of 5G at the 2016 Copa América Centenario tournament in Santa Clara, California.

The system used 73 GHz millimeter wavelength spectrum to deliver peak download speeds of more than 2 Gbps, which the soccer fans used to stream 4K high-def video and to view live streaming virtual reality from VideoStitch with low-millisecond latency.

Additionally, the system used beam switching, a method of tracking the device, selecting the best antennas, and sending their signals to targeted locations.

Can the 3GPP Standards Process Keep Up?

In the past it has been pretty easy for OEMs to develop their own proprietary technology, creating an alphabet soup past of acronyms. But it appears that the unity found in LTE continues to be the rule.

“All of the carriers are looking to contributed to the standards process what they learn,” Pearson. “As long as we don’t get ahead of ourselves and promise things to customers before the ecosystem is built, the tests and trials are very much a help to the carriers as they provide input to our association and the 3GPP standards process.”

AT&T said it is structuring its 5G trials to contribute to the international 5G standards development so it easily become compliant commercial deployments once standards are set by 3GPP.

“The work coming out of AT&T Labs will pave the way toward future international 5G standards and allow us to deliver these fast 5G speeds and network performance,” Heathley said. “We expect 3GPP will likely complete the first phase of standards-setting process in 2018.”

On the other side of the water, Belgium is getting on board with 5G as the country’s telecom minister has authorized their Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications to find spectrum that could be temporarily allocated to mobile operators and research centers looking to carry out 5G trials. According to reports, the regulator is currently working with Ericsson to analyze the most suitable bands for 5G technology.

“There are a lot of tests and trials being performed around the world, including Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. A lot of governments are working closely with these carriers. But I think the North American region is in fine shape in terms of 5G development and the timing of the technology trials,” Pearson said.