Verizon teamed with Qualcomm and US-based Novatel Wireless for a new set of 5G millimetre wave (mmWave) trials meant to accelerate validation and commercialisation of the next generation technology.
The trio is aiming to build a common mmWave 5G New Radio platform for both mobile and fixed wireless home broadband. Work will initially centre on 5G operations at 28GHz and 39GHz, with the goal of achieving multi-Gb/s data rates and ultra-low latency, Verizon noted in a press release.
Qualcomm indicated it will use knowledge gleaned from the trials to further develop its Snapdragon X50 5G modem family, which is geared to support commercial 5G launches starting in the first half of 2019.
Over-the-air trials from the group are set to begin in 2018 and will be compliant with 3GPP’s Release-15 5G specification. The tests will use Qualcomm’s 5G NR mmWave mobile test platforms to evaluate applications in real world scenarios, including non line-of-sight environments and device mobility. Verizon added the trials will use 5G NR MIMO technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking to achieve this.
“Since the inception of the 5G Technology Forum, Verizon has been working closely with Qualcomm Technologies and other technology leaders to accelerate a global 5G specification to help usher in the next generation of wireless innovation for customers,” Ed Chan, Verizon’s SVP of Technology Strategy and Planning, stated: “With the collaboration we’re announcing today, we are taking the next logical step towards extending our leadership position in the advancement of 5G, part of the Verizon Intelligent Edge Network.”
The new set of tests will supplement Verizon’s existing lineup of fixed wireless 5G trials ongoing in 11 US cities. The operator partnered with Ericsson and Samsung on those efforts.
Verizon’s focus on mmWave spectrum follows the operator’s acquisition of 28GHz spectrum from XO Communications in February. In May, Verizon also won a bidding war to acquire 735 spectrum licences in the 28GHz and 39GHz bands from Straight Path Communications for $3.1 billion.