Swisscom presents first 5G smartphone prototype on 5G network
Nov 9, 2018
World première: For the first time, Swisscom has connected a smartphone prototype featuring a Qualcomm 5G midband modem to a live 5G network. At the same time, a hotspot from Taiwan company WNC featuring the identical modem was also connected to the live 5G network, representing another world first. As of today, Lucerne, Zurich, Bern, Lausanne and Geneva have followed Burgdorf to become test locations for the next generation of mobile communications.
5G expansion is pushing ahead. As of today, selected parts of Lucerne, Bern, Geneva and Zurich have joined Burgdorf in being connected live to the network on a test frequency. 5G technology is developing at breakneck speed. Urs Schaeppi, CEO Swisscom, says: “One year ago, in cooperation with Ericsson, we presented the first laboratory applications. Today, we are taking the next step by presenting a 5G smartphone prototype for the first time in real conditions on our 5G network.” By the end of 2019, Swisscom plans to gradually roll out 5G to 60 cities and communities across Switzerland. Arun Bansal, President Ericsson Europe and Latin America, says: “Ericsson, as a strategic partner, is proud to support Swisscom with its ambitious expansion of the 5G network. Together, Ericsson and Swisscom are kick-starting the 5G network rollout in Switzerland and preparing industries for 5G use cases that will benefit the whole economy."
Première: Smartphone live on the 5G network The devices also reflect this development: Just one year ago, 5G test devices still weighed a ton and measured one cubic metre. Now, for the first time, Swisscom is presenting compact 5G devices: a smartphone prototype by Qualcomm and a mobile hotspot of Taiwanese manufacturer, Wistron NeWeb Corporation. Swisscom successfully connected the two devices to its live 5G network in Lucerne outside a laboratory environment. Cristiano Amon, President Qualcomm Incorporated, remarks: “Today, we are proud to have delivered this live 5G connection with Swisscom, WNC and Ericsson. This is the first 5G NR OTA connection worldwide between devices and a live operator network using 3.5 GHz spectrum, marking an important milestone for the mobile industry in Europe to help enable OEMs and operators to deliver 5G networks and devices in the first half of 2019."
”This modem, or chipset, will soon be inside the first 5G smartphones. Urs Schaeppi, CEO Swisscom, underscores the importance: “We are committed to maintaining our technology lead. The future of Switzerland as an innovation hub hinges on the network.” The 5G-ready smartphone is not yet on the market. Experts expect to see the first 5G smartphones coming to the market in summer 2019. Initial industrial applications have been developed that reveal the potential of 5G.
Swisscom to expand the 5G network across Switzerland Looking to the future, Swisscom is not only bringing the 5G network to cities, but also to rural and tourist areas for the benefit of all. Urs Schaeppi says: “Though many applications are in the pipeline, they are still at an early stage. Back when 3G was launched, people doubted whether mobile Internet was necessary at all. Today, we know that mobile applications on 3G and 4G have revolutionised our daily lives. Now we’ve reached the same point with 5G.” Swisscom is shaping 5G development and plays an active role in standardisation through its work on international committees. Around the globe, countries and telecom providers are hatching ambitious plans for 5G expansion. In Switzerland, however, comparatively restrictive ONIR limits that were originally set in 1999 present an obstacle to a swift, extensive and profitable rollout. It is up to politicians and administrations to quickly adapt the underlying framework.
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