Planning 5G-NR field trials using 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands in 2018

HONG KONG–Verizon, Qualcomm Technologies and Novatel Wireless are working together on 5G New Radio (NR) millimeter wave over-the air field trials based on the as-yet unfinished 5G NR spec, which is set for a mid-2018 release.  

The companies said they will work together to help move the mobile ecosystem towards faster validation and commercialization of 5G NR millimeter wave technologies at scale, supporting a commercial network deployment before the end of the decade.

The companies plan to initially focus on 5G NR operation in 28 GHz and 39 GHz mmWave spectrum bands, showcasing advanced 5G NR technologies to achieve multi-gigabit per second data rates with mobility at significantly lower latencies than today’s networks.

These technologies are expected to be critical to meeting the increasing connectivity requirements for emerging consumer mobile and fixed wireless broadband experiences such as streaming high-definition video, immersive virtual/augmented reality and connected cloud computing. The companies plan on delivering a common 5G NR millimeter wave technology platform for mobile and home broadband wireless access, supporting a 5G NR migration path for Verizon’s early 5G fixed wireless access deployments and trials based on Verizon’s 5G Technical Forum specifications.

“Verizon’s investment in millimeter wave spectrum has given us the flexibility to pursue a first-of-its-kind fixed wireless broadband customer trial, which has been invaluable in advancing our expertise in the deployment of mmWave technology. With this collaboration, we are taking the next logical step towards extending our leadership position in the advancement of 5G, part of the Verizon intelligent edge network,” said Ed Chan, senior vice president, Verizon Technology strategy & planning.

Verizon is in the process of conducting tests of millimeter wave fixed wireless access in 11 U.S. cities. Competitor AT&T is similarly testing consumer and enterprise use cases for 5G fixed wireless access.

“We have a tremendous excitement around 5G, and today we made a great announcement to our commitment of driving the 5G ecosystem,” Verizon SVP Atish Gude said during a keynote presentation at the Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong.

“Specifically with Qualcomm and ecosystem partners like Novatel, we made a commitment to really drive with you accelerated field trials and an accelerated commercial launch, and that just shows our commitment to 5G NR millimetre-wave.”

The executive also highlighted that this collaboration will accelerate field trials and the commercial launch of 5G. “We believe 5G is going to be a game changer not only for us but for all the industry. This technology will unleash a whole host of innovation,” Gude said. The executive said that 5G will allow Verizon to focus on innovative offerings such as HD video, AR/VR and cloud computing.

“By 2019, we’ll make 5G NR a reality (…) We’re looking forward to working with Verizon to launch 5G NR,” Cristiano Amon, executive VP of Qualcomm and president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT), said during his keynote.

The companies expect the collaboration to include over-the-air trials, starting in 2018, that will be compliant with the first 3GPP 5G NR specification. The trials will utilize 5G NR millimeter wave mobile test platforms from Qualcomm Technologies operating at 28 GHz and 39 GHz to test end-to-end applications in real-world scenarios, across a broad set of 5G NR mmWave use cases and deployment scenarios.

The trials will also utilize 5G NR multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques, the companies said.

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