Collaboration on 5G NR trials at 3.5GHz to accelerate wide scale 5G deployments in China
Mobile World Congress, Barcelona: Qualcomm Technologies, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, ZTE, and China Mobile have announced plans to conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials based on the 5G new radio (NR) specifications being developed by 3GPP.
The trials will operate in sub-6GHz mid-band spectrum at 3.5GHz, which is a critical band in China for achieving ubiquitous coverage and capacity to address the large number of envisioned 5G use cases. The trials intend to drive the mobile ecosystem toward rapid validation and commercialization of 5G NR technologies at scale, enabling timely commercial network launches based on 3GPP Rel-15 standard compliant 5G NR infrastructure and devices.
In the trials, the companies will showcase 5G NR technologies to efficiently achieve multi-gigabit per second data rates at significantly lower latency and better reliability than today’s networks, amongst other capabilities. These technologies will be critical to meet the increasing connectivity requirements for emerging consumer mobile broadband experiences such as virtual reality, augmented reality and connected cloud computing, as well as enabling new high reliability, low latency services for use cases such as autonomous vehicles, drones and industrial equipment.
The trials will follow the China Mobile’s guideline of 5G NR and utilise device prototype and base station solutions from Qualcomm Technologies and ZTE respectively, to simulate real-world scenarios across a broad set of use cases and deployment scenarios.
The trial will make use of advanced 3GPP 5G NR technologies including Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology, adaptive self-contained TDD, beamforming techniques, scalable OFDM-based waveforms to support wider bandwidths, advanced coding and modulation schemes, and a new flexible, low-latency slot structure based design.
“Qualcomm is committed to the continued success of China’s wireless industry and we are excited about collaborating with China Mobile and ZTE to accelerate the path to 5G in China,” said Matt Grob, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Qualcomm Technologies. “Trials based on the global 3GPP 5G standard, such as this, are critical to ensure timely deployment of 5G networks and continuing our long history of leadership integrating advanced wireless technologies in form-factor accurate devices.”
Said Wang Xiaoyun, the general manager of technology department of China Mobile: “5G is very important for future development and we have put much resources on 5G research, standardisation and industrialisation, and built a 5G joint innovation centre to cultivate the cross-industry innovation. We have finished our phase one trial on 5G key technologies and started the phase two trial on 5G system. The collaboration with Qualcomm and ZTE will push the devices and base station to be matured and ensure their time to market. We encourage more partners to work together, facilitate the completion of the global unified 5G standard, drive the industrialisation and build a harmonized ecosystem through the trial, test and cross industry innovation.”
Concluding, Xu Huijun, CTO at ZTE, stated: “ZTE is delighted to cooperate with Qualcomm to work on this IoDT and Trial for China Mobile. As a global leader in telecommunications and information technology, ZTE sees the significant importance of 3GPP standard beneficial to whole industrial chain and keeps contributing actively to global standards. ZTE will work together with partners to push forward 5G test and trail steadily, to promote the 5G commercialisation world widely.”
The interoperability testing and trials, which will launch in China starting in the second half of 2017, are intended to track closely with, as well as help accelerate the first 3GPP 5G NR specification that will be part of Release 15, the global 5G standard that will make use of both sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum bands.