Three major telecommunications companies have announced new trials intended to drive forward progress towards 5G interoperability using the 5G New Radio (NR) standard.

Ericsson and Qualcomm will utilise base station and device prototype connectivity solutions over AT&T infrastructure spectrum to create real-world simulations to demonstrate new 5G NR nwWave protocols deployed in the 28GHz and 39GHz bandwidth ranges.

The trials are intended to promote rapid evolution in 3GPP’s NR standards, intended to form the basis of global standards-compliant 5G infrastructure and devices in the wake of 3GPP’s initial release of the protocol’s official specifications.

The scheme will run from Q3 2017, making use of both sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum bands.

The tests will support the millimetre Wave (mmWave) spectrum with a view to ultimate commercial deployments and will use Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology via adaptive beamforming and beam tracking methods to generate sustainable mobile broadband environments.

The experiments will also make use of scalable OFDM-derived waveforms, using a novel flexible framework structure which is anticipated to form part of the final 5G NR specs.

Matt Grob, Executive Vice President and CTO at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. commented “The roadmap of 5G technologies is complex, and collaborations such as this are critical to ensuring timely deployment of 5G networks…The 3GPP-based trials we are planning with AT&T and Ericsson will help us accelerate integration of advanced 5G New Radio technologies in form-factor accurate devices, building upon our long history of 3G and 4G LTE leadership and paving the path to wide-scale 5G deployments.”

According to Ericsson’s announcement regarding the 2017 trials, the technologies under test will prove essential for the evolution of the mobile broadband experience, including connected cloud services and augmented reality.

Radio access is pre-visioned as critical to the proposed new web of 5G infrastructure. In December Nokia and Smart trialled 5G tests of 2.6Gbps over 100Mhz in the Philippines, using Nokia’s AirScale platform, while Ericsson’s own Accelerated Network Build has, the company claims, the potential to cut 5G network build times by 50%.

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