We are rapidly approaching widespread 5G commercial reality. Through a series of significant technology and interoperability achievements, Ericsson has opened 5G up for first movers – taking this technology out of the lab and into a commercial network environment.

Engineer tests 5G in Ericsson 5G lab chamber

In December 2017, industry leaders announced the completion of the first 5G NR standard – the non-standalone (NSA) operation – setting the stage for full-scale development of 5G New Radio (NR). Six months later, the 3GPP concluded the standalone (SA) Release 15 5G specifications, another landmark in the standardization of 5G technology.

Ericsson was a key figure in this standardization process and moved quickly to ensure interoperability between Ericsson Radio System commercial radios and the 5G test devices of our ecosystem partners. These tests have been conducted on all the main spectrum bands that will be deployed during the initial 5G launches, including 3.5, 28 and 39 GHz.

Starting in July of 2018, Ericsson, Telstra and Intel successfully completed the first end-to-end 5G non-standalone (NSA) 3GPP data call on a commercial mobile network. The call was the first of its kind over 3.5 GHz spectrum, bringing together the core components from multiple companies required for a real commercial 5G network call.

This milestone was promptly followed with the first 3GPP-based end-to-end, multivendor NR 5G live data call on 39 GHz. The 39 GHz band is an important spectrum for 5G commercial rollouts in North America.

Also in September 2018, Ericsson achieved a standard-based, over-the-air, non-standalone (NSA) 5G NR lab data call on 28 GHz band. With this technology achievement, all the main spectrum bands including 3.5, 28 and 39 GHz, are in place for the first, pioneering 5G launches.

Most recently, Ericsson has taken yet another step to drive 5G commercial readiness by contracting Wistron NeWeb Corporation (WNC) to deliver 5G mobile hotspot routers to be used in customer trials starting in November of 2018.

Thomas Noren, Head of 5G Commercialization, Ericsson, says: “From setting the standards for 5G NR to testing interoperability with our ecosystem partners, Ericsson has been ticking off one item after the other on the ‘bucket list’ to make 5G truly real. Commercial readiness has always been top of mind.”

As the first 5G networks go live this year, 5G first movers can anticipate vast new opportunities to expand their business and shape the market. Ericsson’s portfolio is ready to support those service providers who are leading the way in 5G.