Deutsche Telekom rockin’ da 5G Haus with full duplex radio

© 5G:haus

© 5G:haus

  • Field trials in Prague of self interference cancellation (SIC) technology
  • Evaluation of In Band Full Duplex (IBFD) capabilities under realistic network conditions
  • 5G:haus partnered with Kumu Networks for the trials
  • NGMN partners with US-based ATIS

A new day, a new development in the race towards 5G. Deutsche Telekom – the driving force behind the operator-led NGMN 5G association – has reported that it has solved the challenge of simultaneously transmitting and receiving signals at the same time and on the same frequency, thereby significantly enhancing spectral efficiency.

Of course, there are various research institutions and specialist vendors that already claim to have solved this problem. What Deutsche Telekom has done is to partner with one of them – Kumu Networks – and test out the solution in real-world field trials. The tests were undertaken by the telco’s “5G:haus” innovation lab, and took place on its local network in Prague in the Czech Republic. Specifically, they looked at the viability of self-interference cancellation (SIC) technology.

Deutsche Telekom and Kumu Networks say they were able to evaluate the capabilities of SIC under realistic conditions and test the use of SIC to provide in-band full duplex (IBFD) communication. The field trial focused on measuring the stability and robustness of the technology in a variety of real-world deployment scenarios to demonstrate the potential of the technology to increase spectral efficiency and its relevance as an enabler for 5G networks.

"I’m delighted to see the first experimental results of a potential 5G technology in Deutsche Telekom’s real network environment,” said Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO of Deutsche Telekom. “We use field trials to get a better understanding of a technology’s potential and that helps us to identify use cases and applications in the context of 5G.”

Full Duplex for small cells

In-band full duplex communication is defined in the NGMN Whitepaper as a Technology Building Block for 5G. In the 5G network architecture, it can enable efficient implementation of new radio features to achieve greater spectral efficiency and boost network capacity. It could also solve today’s small cell backhaul problem by allowing an efficient re-use of spectrum normally exclusively used to serve end-users, thereby creating the so-called self-backhauled small cell. Such a solution would allow a network operator to install small cells in places where they would otherwise not be possible, due to missing or expensive backhaul connectivity.

"We are pleased to partner with Deutsche Telekom as they take a leading role in exploring next generation wireless technologies on the path to 5G standardization," said Kumu Networks CEO David Cutrer. " Deutsche Telekom’s Prague trials provide evidence that the assumed theoretical advantages of self-interference cancelling radios are indeed feasible. We are encouraged to accelerate the commercialization of the technology for near-term applications within the goal of realizing the full potential of the technology in a 5G framework."

(watch TelecomTV's exclusive feature on Kumu Networks and Telefonica, on the subject of full duplex, from this year's Mobile World Congress event)

In the 5G:haus framework, Deutsche Telekom is partnering with leading research and industry partners to evaluate potential 5G technology enablers. The innovation lab leverages the telco’s European footprint, with trials and evaluations taking place at various host locations.

Industry alliance

Meanwhile, the NGMN has signed a co-operation agreement with the US-based Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) to strengthen their relationship to foster closer co-operation in the area of 5G. Both organisations intend to work together in projects on 5G related issues and by carrying out joint 5G public relation measures.

“Advancing the network toward to its 5G future will only be accomplished through collaboration,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller. “ATIS sees its agreement with NGMN as important to its leadership role in delivering 5G requirements focused on the North American market and contributing them to global efforts. The goal is to deliver the long-promised convergence of all services onto a common framework, with corresponding enhancements to efficiency, security and service velocity.”

The NGMN now has 95 partners, of which 29 are mobile network operator members, 38 are vendors (sponsors of its activities) and 28 universities and research institutes who act as advisors. Its latest operator members, announced last week, are  Chunghwa Telecom, Hong Kong Telecom and Sprint.

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