Sweden-based equipment maker Ericsson, US chip giant Qualcomm and South Korea’s largest operator SK Telecom announced plans to conduct interoperability tests and over-the-air field trials based on 5G New Radio (NR) standards in South Korea in the second half of 2017.

The trials, which will use multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) and adaptive beamforming techniques, will showcase NR technologies utilising wide bandwidths at higher frequency bands to increase network capacity and achieve multi-gigabit per second data rates.

In a statement, the companies said the trials are designed to help drive the mobile ecosystem forward and enable timely commercial network launches based on 3GPP Release-15 compliant 5G NR infrastructure and devices. The trials are expected to yield insight into the challenges of integrating NR technologies into mobile networks.

The interoperability tests are intended to track closely with, as well as help accelerate, the first NR specification that will be part of Release 15 – the global standard designed to utilise both sub-6GHz and mmWave spectrum bands.

Ericsson CTO Ulf Ewaldsson said the trial collaboration will demonstrate compliance with, and support the accelerated commercialisation of, the 3GPP 5G standard.

Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob said the roadmap of 5G technologies is incredibly complex and trials based on the 3GPP 5G standard, such as this, are “critical to… ensure timely deployment of 5G networks”.