The commercial reality of next-generation mobile technology is close at hand and fast-moving operators in North America recognize the enormous business potential of industry digitalization. In the lead-up to the Mobile World Congress Americas, several announcements are further proof of the commercial readiness of 5G, at scale.
On September 10, 2018 AT&T announced that Ericsson is one of its technology suppliers for the operator’s nationwide 5G network. The announcement includes plans to introduce mobile 5G in five additional cities – Houston, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans, and San Antonio – this year. These new cities are in addition to seven cities previously announced – Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, and Waco.
Crucial to AT&T’s rapid deployment plans is the use of key 5G technologies using millimeter wave spectrum to serve the connectivity needs of those in dense urban environments. AT&T also announced a successful 5G data transfer in Waco, Texas over millimeter wave using standards-based, production equipment with a mobile form factor device, utilizing a Qualcomm Technologies’ smartphone form factor test device and Ericsson 5G-NR capable radios.
On the same day, Verizon, along with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, announced the completion of an end-to-end call with a smartphone form factor test device on a commercial 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) network in Minneapolis. Ericsson and T-Mobile achieved a similar milestone with Intel by successfully completing a multi-vendor 3GPP-based 5G data call in the US using commercial radios and Intel’s mmWave RF chip.
Tests like these showcase the superior experience consumers will shortly have on commercial 5G NR networks. Not only was a test call made over commercial 5G NR network equipment to a test device in the form factor of the handheld devices customers will use on 5G networks, but also other tests including accessing the internet and downloading videos were also successfully made.
These latest news come on the back of a host of recent achievements from Ericsson, including a multivendor data call on 39GHz with Intel, a 3GPP-compliant 5G data call on 39GHz with Qualcomm, and the announcement of a global relationship with Sprint to build a distributed and virtualized core network dedicated specifically to IoT (Internet of Things), in addition to a world-class IoT operating system.