5G chipset makers MediaTek and Qualcomm both announced technical milestones set to increase 5G spectrum utilisation, as the two companies jockey for leadership in the growing market for 5G modems.

MediaTek and Nokia stated they have achieved the world’s first successful aggregation of 5G standalone (5G SA) spectrum using 3 components carrier aggregation. The companies combined frequency division duplex in 600MHz (n71) with time division duplex in 2600MHz (n41).

Nokia contributed its AirScale radio equipment, its cloud-native 5G core, and its proprietary ReefShark chipset to the tests. MediaTek supplied its M80 5G modem as well as the user equipment.

Qualcomm and Airspan
Qualcomm and Airspan announced completion of 5G and open RAN interoperability tests of three levels in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum band (n48). CBRS is shared spectrum the US government has made available to enterprises and public sector users.

The companies conducted over-the-air field trials using Airspan’s end-to-end open RAN solution, as well as Qualcomm’s  X60 5G modem.

Since CBRS is not yet widely deployed, an important goal of the tests was measuring radio link failure and recovery. The companies stated the goal is for the network to recover from a dropped link in less than a second, so the user maintains connectivity.

In a statement, the companies predicted these tests will lay a foundation for development and manufacture of 5G devices using CBRS spectrum.