With 5G slated for commercialization in 2020, leading mobile operators are already planning 5G pre-standard field trials to test advanced technology features that can effectively harness high frequency spectrum. Ericsson 5G Radio Prototypes use Multi-user, Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) and Massive MIMO to increase downlink throughput. They also use advanced beam-tracking, which is required in millimeter wave bands to ensure high performance and reliability for users as they move through the network.
Seizo Onoe, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at NTT DOCOMO, INC., says: “We are very pleased that Ericsson 5G Radio Prototypes have enabled this great achievement through the 5G technical collaboration between Ericsson and DOCOMO, which has been going on for years. Both companies are already conducting joint outdoor trials to understand how 5G will really perform in the field. This will enable us to plan for the new and enhanced services that we will be able to offer with 5G. We will be in a good position to highlight our commercial 5G capabilities in 2020.”
Dongmyun Lee, Chief Technology Officer at KT, says: “Though our work with Ericsson, KT is on-track to preview the innovative new 5G services at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics. We appreciate that Ericsson is enabling us to trial 5G capabilities with the advanced features, like beam tracking, MU-MIMO and Massive MIMO, that we will need as we plan for 5G commercialization.”
Ericsson 5G Radio Prototypes are currently delivering more than 12 Gbps mobile experience per user, in live networking environments with downlink throughput of more than 25 Gbps using MU-MIMO. The live demonstration for both NTT DOCOMO and KT took place indoors on the Ericsson campus in Kista, Sweden and will also be featured at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Each compact 5G Radio Prototype – the size of a piece of carry-on luggage – supports the equivalent of 40 LTE carriers.
Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Radio, Ericsson, says: “Ericsson enables our leading operator customers to experience advanced 5G features achieving real-world performance benchmarks. With Ericsson’s 5G Radio Prototypes, we are already supporting MU-MIMO, Massive MIMO and beam-tracking to make the greater bandwidth available in millimeter wave spectrum commercially viable.”
5G performance will benefit consumers, business users and entire industries. The multi-Gbps speeds delivered by the Ericsson 5G Radio Prototypes can not only support growing mobile broadband and video demand on smartphones and other mobile devices, they also provide a viable and cost effective alternative to residential fiber connections. 5G will also impact the Internet of Things (IoT), enabling new applications for smart vehicles and transport architecture, remote control of heavy machinery in hazardous environments, remote surgery and new levels of human-IoT interaction including immersive augmented reality and immersive gaming.
The development of 5G will encompass an evolution of today’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) and the addition of new radio access technologies, often in higher frequencies. These higher frequencies have a shorter transmission range than current cellular networks and are prone to attenuation from foliage and weather-related factors, which can impact performance and reliability.
Ericsson 5G Radio Prototypes use Multi-User MIMO to transmit data to several user devices using the same time and frequency resources, thus increasing the system’s spectral efficiency. Massive MIMO – the combination of MIMO and beamforming with a large number of antenna elements – improves both throughput and energy efficiency. With beam tracking, the Ericsson 5G Radio Prototypes track the position and movements of a given device and point one or more beams in the best direction for that device in real-time, to ensure consistently reliable connections. These beams can come from multiple transmission points.
5G will impact the entire mobile network and associated eco-system, from devices to radio access, core and into the cloud. Ericsson 5G Radio Prototypes are radio access products that can be installed indoors or outside, enabling operators to field trial 5G services in their own network environments. Ericsson 5G Radio Prototypes leverage the technology innovations enabled by the lab-testing and live outdoor and indoor testing from phase one of the award-winning Ericsson Radio Test Bed, already deployed in Japan, Korea, the US and Sweden.
Ericsson and its leading operator customers, including NTT DOCOMO and KT, are leading and driving the 5G standards work from pre-standard field trials through standardization activities along with influential standards bodies and industry.