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KT, Qualcomm and Samsung achieve multi-vendor 5G NR interoperability on path to mobile 5G NR trials this year

KT Corporation (Korea Telecom), Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., have successfully multi-vendor 5G NR (New Radio) interoperable testing compliant with the recently completed 3GPP Release-15 Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G NR global standard.

5G New Radio (NR) is the global 5G standard for a new OFDM (Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing)-based air interface designed to support the wide variation of 5G device-types, services, deployments and spectrum. Following the guidelines of KT Corporation, the live, over-the-air interoperable testing demonstrated data connections operating in 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands, utilizing pre-commercial 5G NR base stations from Samsung and 5G NR UE prototypes from Qualcomm Technologies.

The achievement is a significant milestone on the path to standard-compliant mobile 5G NR trials starting in 2018, leading to commercial 5G NR network deployments and multimode smartphone launches anticipated in 2019.

The live demonstration, which was held in Samsung’s lab in Suwon, South Korea, achieved multi-gigabits per second downlink speeds, as well as latencies as low as 1 millisecond. The fiber-like speeds and low latencies will be essential to meeting the increasing connectivity requirements of emerging mobile broadband experiences such as virtual/augmented reality, as well as enabling new high-reliability, low-latency services for industrial control, autonomous vehicles and drones, among other use cases.


Source: Qualcomm. Click to enlarge.

5G NR introduces numerous key technology enablers,including:

  • Mobilizing mmWave. mmWave refers to the spectrum bands above 24 GHz. Transmissions at mmWave bands suffer from much higher path loss and susceptibility to blockage. New 5G technologies such as advanced antenna techniques, maintaining an anchor in sub-6 GHz and new design are addressing these limitations.

  • Massive MIMO. Advanced antenna technologies that enable many antennas at the base station enable 3D beamforming to increase coverage and capacity.

  • Shared spectrum. Access to shared and unlicensed spectrum will extend 5G in multiple dimensions—i.e., more capacity, higher spectrum utilization, new deployment scenarios. 5G NR is designed to support all spectrum types natively and, through forward compatibility, has the flexibility to take advantage of new spectrum sharing paradigms. This creates opportunities for new innovation to take spectrum sharing to the next level in 5G.

  • Advanced coding. New 5G NR channel coding design will be more efficient than today’s LTE Turbo codes at high data rates and low latency.

  • Grant-free transmissions. New Resource Spread Multiple Access (RSMA) design delivers optimizations for sporadic, grant-free uplink transmissions common in IoT communications.

The end-to-end 5G NR interoperability testing demonstrated the essential components of the 5G NR air interface—fully compliant with 3GPP Release-15 5G NR specifications—including scalable 5G NR OFDM numerology, advanced 5G NR channel coding and modulation schemes, low-latency 5G NR slot structure and 5G NR control and data channel support for Massive MIMO and mobile mmWave.

The 5G NR interoperability demonstration will be on display at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from 26 February through 1 March at the Qualcomm Technologies booth in Hall 3 – Booth 3E10, Samsung booth in Hall 2 – Stand 2M20, and KT booth in Hall 4 – Innovation city.

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