- First time 100 MHz of 3.5-GHz spectrum used in live test
- Qualcomm supplies Snapdragon x50 modem
- Clos partnership could help Ericsson fend off Samsung
Ericsson and SK Telecom have conducted a video call over the operator's live 5G test network, the latest milestone in a long-running partnership.
On this occasion, the companies used 100 MHz of 3.5-GHz spectrum, marking the first time that so much spectrum in this band has been used in a field test. SK Telecom used Ericsson's commercial radio equipment, based on the 5G New Radio (NR) standard. Ericsson also supplied a test device equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon x50 5G modem. As well as a video call, SK Telecom also demonstrated streaming via a 5G data session.
As has been well documented, South Korea is pushing hard to be a frontrunner on 5G, which might explain Ericsson's keen involvement with SK Telecom's research and trials. The two companies have been at the forefront of testing out network slicing, where an access network is subdivided into virtual partitions, with the parameters of each one tailored to meet the requirements of specific services, from low-bandwidth massive IoT connectivity, to low-latency, high-throughput A/VR services. Ericsson and SK Telecom have also trialled multi-vehicular 5G trials in partnership with BMW.
Another explanation for Ericsson's close involvement with SK Telecom might have something to do with Samsung. The Korean vendor missed the boat on 4G when it backed WiMAX instead of LTE, but it is making a concerted effort to not be left out of 5G. Last year, it unveiled its end-to-end 5G portfolio, and it has struck important partnerships and supply deals, including with SK Telecom, Telefonica, and Verizon.
With South Korea expected to be among the first movers when it comes to 5G commercialisation, Ericsson will want to make sure SK Telecom's network is adorned with as much of its equipment as possible.
Read the full press release below:
Ericsson, SK Telecom and BMW have revealed the most advanced 5G outdoor mobility trial, including the first multi-vehicular 5G trials. They were conducted successfully on a 5G test network installed at the advanced BMW car test track in Yeongjong-do, South Korea.SK Telecom, together with Ericsson, deployed network slicing and 5G radio network infrastructure to cover a complete track in the BMW driving center. The trial with the connected test cars showed that 5G performance will support V2X (Vehicular Connectivity) services that require low latency and consistent high bi-directional throughput.
Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO and Head of Corporate R&D Center, SK Telecom, says: "5G will offer much more than just faster data speeds. It will serve as a true enabler for a whole new variety of powerful services that deliver unprecedented value to customers. Today's demonstration of 5G-based connected car technologies marks the very first step towards achieving fully autonomous driving in the upcoming era of 5G."
The test environment was realized by using an Ericsson 5G field trial network. It consists of multiple radio transmission points on 28GHz frequency band to cover the entire track and one user equipment installed in every car. The trials showed consistent Gbps-level throughput with a few millisecond latencies. Uninterrupted connectivity, using beam tracking and beam transfer across the different transmission points at speeds exceeding 100 kilometers per hour is also achieved. The performance shown enables multiple connected car use cases such as augmented and virtual reality, obstacle control and vehicle to vehicle communication, based on a system solution including radio and core network infrastructure from Ericsson.
Thomas Norén, Head of Product Area Network Products, Ericsson, says: "Ericsson is working with leading operators and ecosystem players to drive the realization of 5G - both with today's pre-standard field trials, and through standardization activities along with global standards bodies and industry groups. The trial takes a step closer to 5G technology and commercialization, especially for connected vehicle applications."
The trial simultaneously implements new key 5G capabilities with multi-site, multi-transmission point, MU-MIMO, and with multiple devices operating in the millimeter wave frequency band. It demonstrates beam tracking and beam mobility between different 5G access points, at high mobility.
Ericsson is using its industry leading 5G trial system to support multiple trial engagements with different operators around the world, enabling our operator partners to test various applications with different trial set-up to explore new business opportunities.
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