Many expected this year’s Mobile World Congress to be a forum for 5G innovation, and so far the event hasn’t disappointed.
Here are some of the biggest 5G announcements to come out of the show so far:
1) Verizon and Ericsson announced that in 5G field trials held in February 2016, Ericsson’s 5G Radio Prototypes hit more than 10 gbps peak throughput while supporting beamforming and beam tracking features. In the Verizon field trial, the Ericsson’s outdoor-mounted 5G Radio Prototypes delivered high-definition video streaming to devices located indoors, emulating a residential customer environment.
Ericsson said its compact 5G Radio Prototypes include technologies such as multi-user multiple input multiple output (MIMO), beamforming, beam tracking and an advanced antenna design incorporating 128 antenna elements and 64 radio chains.
2) In trials conducted at Verizon’s Basking Ridge, N.J. headquarters, Samsung was able to use Verizon’s Fios wired network and its own 5g Hybrid Adaptive Array antenna radio technology to deliver 5G wireless speeds over mmWave band spectrum in several real-world use cases, including in-building and mobile environments.
During the trials, Samsung also exhibited 4K UHD video content transmission over the air while in a moving vehicle using automatic beamforming multiple-input MIMO technology.
Additionally, Samsung demonstrated the power of a 5G network by successfully streaming live 360 degree virtual reality content in 4K UHD, consisting of 17 independent video feeds, to Samsung Galaxy phones with Samsung Gear VR.
3) Intel said it, too, is collaborating on millimeter wave 5G field trials with Verizon as part of the carrier’s 5G Technology Forum. Other forum partners include Apple, Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia, Samsung, and Qualcomm.
Intel said it is now offering a 5G mobile trial platform that offers “a high-performance development platform for faster integration and testing of 5G devices and wireless access points.” The platform is based on three subsystems: a baseband signal processor powered by Altera Arria 10 FPGAs to enable quick updating of the platform’s processing layers; an advanced radio frequency unit supporting operation in sub-6 GHz, cm-wave and mm-wave spectrum bands, as well as two-stream or four-stream MIMO capability; and a communications protocol stack based on the Intel Core i7 processor.
Intel also announced additional 5G partnerships, including collaborations with Ericsson on 5G solutions and joint trials; LG Electronics to develop 5G telematics technology for cars; Nokia to develop pre-standard 5G radio technologies and network solutions to enable early implementation of both 5G mobile client and wireless infrastructure; SK Telecom to develop and verify 5G mobile device and network solutions and devices for Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) in unlicensed spectrum bands; and KT to implement 5G trials in 2018.
4) Nokia announced it recently collaborated with Verizon on a successful pre-commercial 5G field trial.
Conducted in January on the carrier’s live Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex network, the trial tested outdoor to indoor penetration to an apartment in a residential development. To complement this, the team also simulated a wide array of alternative building materials, complete with electrical and plumbing services.
The wireless broadband solution successfully delivered Ultra HD 4K video content on multiple end user devices on the 5G wireless network with superior speed of traffic and data throughput. 5G is an alternative to fiber to the home to speed up deployments for broadband services that provide far more capacity than current fiber connections.
An additional use case trialed the substantially reduced 5G latency in applications where the latency of feedback is critical, such as telemedicine, rehabilitation, gaming and entertainment, as well as in areas requiring the handling of dangerous materials, like public safety.
Nokia said its trial system utilizes a pre-commercial radio system running at 73GHz and 28GHz providing a fixed wireless broadband services environment. The link achieved speeds of multiple gigabits per second in a real environment with a spectral bandwidth of 1GHz and ~1ms one-way air interface latency.
5) Cisco announced that it will begin collaborating with Ericsson and Intel to develop and trial what is expected to be the industry’s first 5G router for business and residential services. The companies expect the next-generation 5G router to enable business and residential customers to achieve significantly faster networking speeds, lower latency, and the ability to handle exponentially more Internet-connected devices. This advancement is intended to help accommodate the expected explosion of the Internet of Everything, and the streaming of high-definition video content.
6) ZTE Corporation and China Mobile announced a new 5G high-frequency prototype and demonstrated a 10 gbps plus high bitrate, beam-tracking and other key 5G technologies.
The ZTE-developed prototype operates on a 15 GHz carrier with a bandwidth of 500 MB and includes a hardware structure made up of a large-capacity baseband unit (BBU) and an intelligent remote radio unit (RRU). ZTE said the prototype’s high-frequency, ultra-wideband and compact design optimizes performance and provides a multi-user MIMO peak bitrate as high as 10 gbps plus. It also uses beamforming technology so mobile terminals can be tracked by multiple beams rapidly and adaptively to achieve 3D coverage in all directions and adapt to different user applications.
The prototype is designed for the commercial use of 5G.
7) Huawei and TeliaSonera have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a strategic partnership in the research and development of 5G technologies.
In addition to the collaboration in air interface technologies aimed to provide higher throughput and lower-latency network, TeliaSonera and Huawei will jointly identify the future services scenarios that could tap into various verticals supported by an open platform dynamically providing the required resources. The 5G use case scenarios span from IoT, to public safety, natural disaster and higher user mobility, with an ambition of bringing additional revenue streams on top of the traditional mobile broadband subscriptions.
8) T-Mobile is working with Nokia to develop a pre-standards 5G test network for lab and field trials in the second half of 2016.
The companies are using pre-selected spectrum in the 28Ghz band to trial and test 5G components and accompanying use cases that support massive bandwidth capacity and virtual zero latency. This will enable T-Mobile to evaluate emerging 5G technologies and explore new business opportunities of an increasingly connected world.