Home5G & BeyondEricsson and IBM test mmWave for 5G base stations

    Ericsson and IBM test mmWave for 5G base stations


    Ericsson and IBM have trialled a new mmWave phased array integrated circuit that is designed to enable future 5G networks.

    The circuit, the first of its kind to operate at 28GHz, has been demonstrated in a phased array antenna module designed for use in 5G base stations.

    The module consists of four monolithic integrated circuits and 64 dual-polarised antennae. Given its small size – around half the size of a typical smartphone – it will enable the wide deployment of these base stations, according to the two companies.

    Ericsson and IBM’s design – two years in the making – supports beam-steering resolution of less than 1.4 degrees, which enables the beam to be pointed towards users with a high degree of precision.

    Thomas Noren, Senior Advisor, Business Unit Network Products at Ericsson, said that the collaboration would help operators to deploy “radio access infrastructure [that is] necessary to support a 5G future”.

    He added: “New use cases and applications that span human machine interaction, virtual reality, smart home devices and connected cars will depend on innovative technologies that can bring the promises of faster data rates, broader bandwidth and longer battery life to reality.”

    mmWave technology is receiving increasing attention as it uses higher frequencies than those currently used for mobile devices. This offers a new source of bandwidth for future 5G networks.

    Ericsson was part of a 5G connected car trial in Korea with SK Telecom and BMW, announced this week, which featured the world’s largest mmWave 5G trial network in the 28GHz band.

    In January, Huawei hit transmission speeds of 35GBps in pre-5G trials with Singaporean telco M1 that used mmwave over the 73GHz frequency.