AT&T, Ericsson, Qualcomm to test 3GPP standard 5G in 2017

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AT&T, Ericsson and Qualcomm will launch interoperability testing and field trials of 3GPP-based 5G specifications.

The trials will launch in the second half of 2017, once 3GPP completes the first batch of official specifications as part of Release 15 later this year.

The companies said the trials will support millimetre wave deployments in the 28GHz and 39GHz bands, which will offer multi-gigabit per second data rates and support the likes of virtual and augmented reality and connected cloud services.

Ericsson and Qualcomm will provide base station and device prototypes respectively, with AT&T providing spectrum to support real-world test scenarios across various use cases.

The trials will also use MIMO antennas with adaptive beamforming and beamtracking to deliver communications at higher bandwidths. The telcos said the trials will also use OFDM-based waveforms and a "flexible" framework design that they said would be part of 3GPP's forthcoming specifications.

Tom Keathley, Senior Vice-President, Wireless Network Architecture and Design, AT&T, said: "5G technology comes with new challenges, but more importantly, it offers tremendous opportunity to revolutionise the way we use mobile networks across industries. We're tackling these challenges head-on through testing in our labs and field trials."

Matt Grob, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Qualcomm Technologies, added: "The roadmap of 5G technologies is complex, and collaborations such as this are critical to ensuring timely deployment of 5G networks.

“The 3GPP-based trials we are planning with AT&T and Ericsson will help us accelerate integration of advanced 5G New Radio technologies in form-factor accurate devices, building upon our long history of 3G and 4G LTE leadership and paving the path to wide-scale 5G deployments."

Ulf Ewaldsson, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Ericsson, said: "This important 5G standard-based trial collaboration will demonstrate compliance to 3GPP and support the accelerated commercialisation of the global 3GPP 5G standard."