Samsung and Cisco partnered with Verizon for what was claimed to be the world’s first field trial of a multi-vendor pre-standard 5G network.
“This trial highlights the readiness of key 5G technologies, paving the way for deployment of commercial 5G networks,” the three said in a joint statement, adding: “This also demonstrates that service providers can deploy 5G networks specialised to their unique market needs by selecting individual network infrastructure components from a selection of multiple vendors.”
The trio completed a series of network vendor interoperability tests which delivered interworking between core network, radio edge and user devices, highlighting a core principle of next-generation network virtualisation through multi-vendor capabilities.
Adam Koeppe, VP of network planning at Verizon, claimed interoperability is a key milestone towards 5G commercialisation and allows for highly flexible network design to meet emerging 5G use cases.
Yvette Kanouff, SVP and general manager of Cisco’s Service Provider business, said: “We are making history on the path towards true network function virtualisation (NFV), demonstrating it for the first time in a 5G environment”.
The solution includes a 5G virtualised packet core as part of the Cisco Ultra Services Platform with Cisco Advanced Services and Samsung virtual RAN solutions, paired with Samsung’s 5G Radio base stations and 5G home routers.
Verizon’s 5G Technical Forum, to which Cisco and Samsung are strong contributors, wants to establish early direction for commercial 5G technologies and services.
In early 2017, Verizon announced plans to offer fixed wireless ‘5G’ services in 11 markets by the end of June as part of a major pilot programme.
Around the same time, Samsung said it passed an important milestone on its path to 5G with the commercial release of a Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit for the next generation technology.
Details of the trials follow comments by Nicola Palmer, Verizon’s chief network officer, explaining the company did not need to participate in a recent 600MHz incentive auction to lead the 5G “revolution”, because of the strength of the company’s current spectrum holdings.