China Mobile – the world’s largest operator – plans to work with Qualcomm and ZTE on trials intended to accelerate the path to 5G in the country.
The trio will conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials during the second half of the year based on the 5G New Radio (NR) specifications under development by 3GPP.
Wang Xiaoyun, China Mobile’s general manager, technology department, said 5G was important for the company’s future development and cross-industry collaboration was vital in enabling the technology to reach its potential.
He said: “We have finished our phase I trial on 5G key technologies and started the phase II trial on 5G system. The collaboration with Qualcomm 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 [to] facilitate the completion of the global unified 5G standard, drive the industrialisation and build a harmonised ecosystem through the trial, test and cross industry innovation.”
The trials announced with ZTE and Qualcomm will use 3.5GHz spectrum and are intended to drive the entire mobile ecosystem toward rapid validation and commercialisation of 5G NR technologies, enabling timely commercial network launches, Qualcomm said in a statement.
A Qualcomm device prototype and ZTE base stations will simulate real-world scenarios across a broad set of 5G NR use cases and deployment scenarios. The trial will make use of advanced 3GPP 5G NR technologies, including massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antenna technology, adaptive self-contained TDD, beam-forming techniques and scalable OFDM-based waveforms.
Sub-6GHz mid-band spectrum is a critical band in China for achieving ubiquitous coverage and capacity to address the large number of envisioned 5G use cases.