Technology milestones: showcasing 5G NR interoperability
Essential parts of the 5G standard have been completed with the approval of 5G New Radio (NR) specifications for non-standalone and standalone deployments of 5G. Ericsson is a key contributor to the standardization process. We are committed to rapidly applying these standards to our technology development and accelerate the commercial deployment of standard-based 5G networks.
First multi-vendor, end-to-end 5G commercial data call on 3.5GHz
Ericsson, Telstra and Intel have taken 5G out of the lab and into a real-world commercial production network to achieve the first 5G non-standalone (NSA) 3GPP end-to-end data call in a multi-vendor setup.
The data call was made over Telstra’s 5G NSA enabled commercial network over licenced 3.5GHz spectrum, using Ericsson’s 5G NR radio 6488, baseband and packet core for 5G EPC equipment integrated into Telstra commercial network and Intel® 5G Mobile Trial Platform for the 5G NR UE.
This latest milestone took place at Telstra’s 5G innovation centre on the Gold Coast in Australia. It quickly followed the July 6 lab-based data call by Ericsson and Intel, together with early-moving 5G service providers, at the Ericsson Lab in Stockholm.
5G NR standalone multi-vendor interoperability demonstrated
Ericsson and Intel together with China Mobile have successfully demonstrated the first 3GPP-compliant, multi-vendor Standalone (SA) 5G New Radio (NR) call. The interoperability demonstration followed the completion of the 5G NR Standalone specifications by 3GPP. The live demonstration with different players in the ecosystem marks another milestone on the path to 5G commercialization.
Following the 3GPP approval of the global 5G NR SA standard, Ericsson, Intel and China Mobile conducted a live Interoperability Development Testing (IoDT) of the newly approved technology. The live IoDT operating at 100MHz on 3.5GHz mid-band used Ericsson’s 5G NR base stations and Intel’s 5G NR UE (Intel® 5G Mobile Trial Platform) prototypes. The test achieved a downlink speed of over 1.3 Gbps.
The test complies with all key characteristics of the 3GPP 5G NR SA standard:
Multiple numerology support: Flexible OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) waveform numerologies supporting low-band, as well as mid-band and high-band spectrum allocations for wideband operation and low latency services.
Flexible frame structure: Dynamic frame structure enables future-proof and ultra-lean design as well as self-contained data transmissions that support diverse use cases with requirements on, among others, low latency, high peak-rate, and high reliability with energy efficient transmission.
Channel codes: Channel coding schemes based on the latest technology in advanced low-density parity-check (LDPC); and Polar codes that support both extreme peak rates and high-reliability use cases.
Native MIMO support: Control and data channel support for Massive MIMO Multiple-input, Multiple-output) features based on beam-centric design; improves spectral efficiency and achieves higher data rates while boosting performance for consumers.
Ultra-lean design: Minimize any transmission not directly related to delivery of user data. Remove the need for always-on signals; more energy efficient design and reduces interference.
Expanded spectrum support: Low-bands, mid-bands, high-bands; more spectrum bands and wider bandwidth available.
The demonstration successfully carried out by the ecosystem partners is expected to accelerate the commercial deployment of standard-based 5G networks.
The Ericsson 5G NR radio used in the interoperability test
Maximum transmitting power 200 W
64 RF Channel
192 dual-polar antenna element
Frequency band 3.4 GHz – 3.6 GHz
Cell bandwidth 100 MHz
Sub-carrier distance 30 KHz
Frame Structure DDSU
Downlink support 256 QAMUplink support 64 QAM
Intel® 5G Mobile Trial Platform:
High performance FPGA platform, supports both Non-Standalone and SA;
Supports Sub-6 frequency band
Uplink support 2 layers and 256 QAMDownlink support 4 layers and 256 QAM
Global mobile industry leaders achieve multi-band 5G NR NSA
The interoperability demonstrations mark an important technology milestone toward standard-compliant trials. It is also a proof point of the ongoing industry collaboration to accelerate 5G NR for commercial network launches starting 2019.
The live over the air multiband demonstrations showcased both sub-6 GHz and mmWave end-to-end 5G NR systems, using Ericsson’s 5G NR pre-commercial base stations and Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G NR UE prototypes. The demos were conducted for the lower layer data connections. These just standardized layers are fundamental building blocks of 5G NR.
The success of this interoperability test paves the way for commercial launches of 5G standard-compliant infrastructure and devices. Going forward our 5G NR pre-commercial base stations and Qualcomm UE prototypes will enable operators to conduct live tests in their own networks.
The newly approved 3GPP standard for NSA 5G NR will use the existing LTE radio and evolved packet core network as an anchor for mobility management and coverage while adding a new 5G NR radio access carrier to enable certain 5G use cases starting in 2019.