Qualcomm, ZTE and China Mobile Collaborate For 5G NR Trials at 3.5 GHz

Qualcomm Technologies along with ZTE and China Mobile have announced plans to conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials based on the 5G New Radio (NR) specifications being developed by 3GPP. The trials will operate in sub-6 GHz mid-band spectrum at 3.5 GHz and intend to drive the mobile ecosystem toward rapid validation and commercialization of 5G NR technologies at scale, enabling timely commercial network launches based on 3GPP Rel-15 standard compliant 5G NR infrastructure and devices.

In the trials, the companies will showcase 5G NR technologies to efficiently achieve multi-gigabit per second data rates at significantly lower latency and better reliability than today’s network, amongst other capabilities. These technologies will be critical to meeting the increasing connectivity requirements for emerging consumer mobile broadband experiences such as virtual reality, augmented reality and connected cloud computing, as well as enabling new high-reliability, low-latency services for use cases such as autonomous vehicles, drones and industrial equipment.

The trials will utilize device prototype and base station solutions from Qualcomm Technologies and ZTE respectively, to simulate real-world scenarios across a broad set of 5G NR use cases and deployment scenarios, following the guidelines of China Mobile. The focus of the trials will be on 5G NR operation in sub-6 GHz mid-band spectrum at 3.5 GHz, which is a critical band in China for achieving ubiquitous coverage and capacity to address the large number of envisioned 5G use cases, including those that demand very low latency and high reliability. The trial will make use of advanced 3GPP 5G NR technologies including Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology, adaptive self-contained TDD, beamforming techniques, scalable OFDM-based waveforms to support wider bandwidths, advanced coding and modulation schemes, and a new flexible, low-latency slot structure based design.

The interoperability testing and trials, which will launch in China starting in the second half of 2017, are intended to track closely with, as well as help accelerate, the first 3GPP 5G NR specification that will be part of Release 15 - the global 5G standard that will make use of both sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum bands.