Working with ZTE and China Mobile, Qualcomm marks 5G NR milestone with layer 1 data connection

As the 3GPP 5G NR standard coalesces ahead of a mid-2018 release, vendors and operators continue increasingly advanced testing scenarios to prove out next-generation network technologies. In the latest Qualcomm provided a prototype system connected to a ZTE pre-standard 5G base station in a test carried out at a China Mobile lab.

Qualcomm Director of Technical Marketing Matt Branda discussed the importance of the layer 1 testing in an interview with RCR Wireless News describing the end-to-end, 5G NR-compliant the world’s first “interoperable, multi-vendor connection. There’s a long path to 5G that started many years ago, and there’s all these milestones along the way. This is particularly important from a standardization perspective.”

This test used a 100 megahertz of 3.5 GHz spectrum and included use of scalable OFDM numerology, advanced channel coding and modulation and self-contained slot structure geared toward support of the low latency expected from 5G.

The end-to-end 5G NR system operates in 3.5GHz and supports 100MHz bandwidth, compliant with the 3GPP Release-15 5G New Radio layer 1 framework — including the scalable OFDM numerology, new advanced channel coding and modulation schemes, and the low-latency self-contained slot structure. Branda said throughput approached 1.4 Gbps, which can be scaled through the addition of more carriers, and latency of around 1 millisecond.

ZTE and China Mobile officials both described the test as confirming ongoing commitment to working with industry partners to further standardization work and set the stage for rapid commercialization. ZTE SVP and CTO Xu Huijun said the infrastructure vendor “is actively verifying a multitude of key technologies, solutions and network model together with industry partners.” China Mobile VP LI Zhengmao called the test an “important milestone of 5G standard to productization” designed to help the 5G ecosystem “continue to mature.”



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