Multinational telco and services company Ericsson has claimed the first demonstration of an end-to-end 5G network.

The demonstration, according to the company, took place in Sweden in December at Ericsson’s laboratory at Kista*. In the tests, which were a joint cooperation with SK Telecom Korea, round-trip latencies of approximately 4ms were achieved, terminating at a gateway outside the experimental core.

Technologies used to set up and run the network included virtual RAN, over-the-air NR/LTE interworking and Cloud Core. The 5G New Radio (NR) operated over 15GHz on 800Mhz bandwidth.

Ericsson’s Head of Strategy and Technology, Business Unit IT & Cloud Håkan Djuphammar commented: “These live demonstrations with SK Telecom and Telefonica show Ericsson’s long-term commitment to 5G. By leading the development of 5G technologies end-to-end, we are driving 5G technology closer to reality.”

Ericsson is driving its own 5G research and development forward at a rapid pace globally. In January the company signed an agreement with the research division of China Mobile – the China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) – to collaborate on an investigation into the construction of Cloud Radio Access Network (RAN) architecture for 5G, and on establishing new standard interfaces for Cloud RAN.

Earlier in January Ericsson partnered with AT&T and Qualcomm to conduct trials of new 5G specifications for radio frequencies, intended to foster development of 3GPP NR standards in an experiment that will run during Q3 of 2017.

5G networks are clearly seen as key to Ericsson’s company strategy, with China’s uncommon interest in 5G combining with generous government resources to ensure that Asia remains the testing ground and hotbed of 5G innovation.

The stakes are perceived to be high also in the west, with Europe of the opinion that 5G roll-out is practically pivotal to the further development of a connected society looking to benefit from IoT and Big Data.

*Corrected from earlier misspelling.

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