5G Accelerates in China – Qualcomm, ZTE and China Mobile working on Trials at 3.5 GHz

Qualcomm Technologies, ZTE, and China Mobile today 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.

“Qualcomm Technologies is committed to the continued success of China’s wireless industry and we are excited about collaborating with China Mobile and ZTE to accelerate the path to 5G in China,” said Matt Grob, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Trials based on the global 3GPP 5G standard, such as this, are critical to ensure timely deployment of 5G networks and continuing our long history of leadership integrating advanced wireless technologies.”

“5G is very important for future development and we have put much resources on 5G research, standardization and industrialization, and built a 5G joint innovation center to cultivate the cross-industry innovation,” said Wang Xiaoyun, the general manager, technology department, China Mobile, “We have finished our phase I trial on 5G key technologies and started the phase II trial on 5G system. The collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies and ZTE will push the devices and base station to be matured and ensure their time to market. We encourage more partners to work together, facilitate the completion of the global unified 5G standard, drive the industrialization and build a harmonized ecosystem through the trial, test and cross industry innovation.”

“ZTE is delighted to cooperate with Qualcomm Technologies to work on this IoDT and Trial for China Mobile,” said Xu Huijun, CTO of ZTE. “As a global leader in telecommunications and information technology, ZTE sees the significant importance of 3GPP standard beneficial to whole industrial chain and keeps contributing actively to global standards. ZTE will work together with partners to push forward 5G test and trial steadily, to promote the 5G commercialization world widely.”

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. Tracking the 3GPP specification is important because it promotes adherence and validation with the global 5G standard, accelerating the time to standard-compliant devices and infrastructure. It will also drive forward compatibility to future 3GPP 5G NR releases.

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