Telstra, Ericsson, Intel complete “5G” data call using 3GPP New Radio
Australian network operator Telstra, Ericsson and Intel announced they have jointly completed the first end-to-end 3GPP non-standalone “5G” data call on a commercial network in a multi-vendor setup. The trial at Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre on Australia’s Gold Coast used licensed 3.5-GHz spectrum, and Ericsson’s “5G” New Radio, baseband and packet core solution, a Telstra SIM and the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform. It involved a network connection to an Ericsson virtualized 5G packet core running on Ericsson’s network functions virtualization (NFV) infrastructure. The 5G slice was then connected into the existing Telstra 4G mobile network.
Ericsson and Intel jointly completed the first lab-based end-to-end non-standalone 5G data call earlier this month, and the live demonstration builds on this milestone.
“Demonstrating this 5G data call end-to-end using my own personal SIM card on Telstra’s mobile network is the closest any provider has come to making a ’true’ 5G call in the real world-environment, and marks another 5G first for Telstra,” Telstra group managing director for networks Mike Wright said.
Previous “5G” experiments have included the first 5G data call over 26-GHz spectrum, Australia’s first 5G connected vehicle trial and its first 5G mobile gaming demonstration.
“We continue to work with global technology companies Ericsson and Intel as well as global standards bodies to advance the deployment of commercial 5G capability in Australia,” Wright concluded.
Intel Next Generation and Standards vice president and general manager Asha Keddy said the tech giant would continue working on 5G use cases and trials ahead of the launch of Telstra’s 5G network in 2019.
3 thoughts on “Telstra, Ericsson, Intel complete “5G” data call using 3GPP New Radio”
3GPP New Radio (in release 15 spec) reallocates some existing LTE bands and introduces new mmWave bands up to 40 GHz. While initial 5G devices will implement some type of point-to-point wireless link, smartphone manufacturers are already planning the introduction of their products that contain multiple radios. Adding yet another radio adds new coexistence challenges that designers must address.
5G NR mid-band (1 GHz to 6 GHz) and high-band (above 24 GHz) operate in the same or in adjacent spectrum to other wireless communications systems. With devices covering multiple bands, there is increased risk for sideband interference or new shared spectrum issues. 5G NR devices will need to operate adjacent to or even in the same spectrum as existing wireless communications systems without causing interference. Designers of 5G chipsets and components need to know the different types of coexistence interference issues, where coexistence interference is likely to occur, and how to test for coexistence interference.
There are many types of coexistence interference, but two primary issues require new coexistence testing. The first involves testing in-band and out-of-band emissions and testing the impact of the 5G NR emissions on other radio signals. These tests are important because you must ensure that a 5G radio doesn’t cause interference with other radios in the device, with other radios signals in the channel, or with signals in an adjacent spectrum. Such testing is similar to 4G coexistence issues, but the increasing number of radios in a device and the increasing number operating bands where 5G NR will operate will compound the problem.
Second, because a goal of 5G is to improve data throughput, shared spectrum will be a key feature in 5G. To operate simultaneously in a shared environment, new procedures and protocols must be developed to ensure successful operation in the environment. At the highest level, these policies specify that devices must listen before they talk. Specifically, a device needs to detect coexistence traffic and allocate or reallocate spectrum dynamically based on what it hears. This presents potential quality of service issues (QoS) issues for device users caused by latencies while the radio switches channels. This will require special tests not previously done on cellular devices.
The Ericsson CTO identified enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless as amongst the first 5G bright spots for Ericsson. “The beauty of fixed wireless,” he told Light Reading Thursday, is that it lessens the need for fiber. With wide carriers (radio channels) and narrow beams (i.e., beamforming) — “spotlight beams” as Ekudden calls them — able to deliver multi-megabit to gigabit speeds, high-speed and efficient fixed wireless is now possible, where it wasn’t before, Ekudden said.
Want to know more about 5G? Check out our dedicated 5G content channel here on
“It’s now financially and technically viable,” the CTO said, particularly as the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (5G NR) specs make it possible to use the same infrastructure for both fixed and mobile 5G services. According to the CTO, high-band 5G equipment could deliver a high-speed data connection from a small cell sited 200-300 feet from antennas installed at customers’ homes. In this scenario, an operator such as Verizon would save money by serving multiple premises without having to dig up the customers’ front yards for a cable run.
“I’m not advocating universal build-out of fixed [wireless 5G],” Ekudden hastens to add. “There are fewer operators that are planning for fixed wireless.”
But in the US, both Verizon and T-Mobile US Inc. have launched — or are planning to launch — 5G home broadband services (using fixed wireless capabilities) along with mobile 5G services. Mobile services are expected in the first of 2019 for T-Mobile, and “sometime” in 2019 for Verizon. (See T-Mobile: 6 of Top 10 US Markets Ready for Our 5G in 2019.)
Ericsson, like its vendor rivals, is also expecting the Internet of Things to be a massive part of the 5G age: Ericsson is predicting there will be 3.5 billion “cellular IoT” devices in use by 2023. That’s a big number, but not as ambitious as many other predictions seen for 5G and IoT.
“Most of that number is China,” explains the CTO.
The low-power, wide-area aspect of 5G can be supported now. Technologies like narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) or Cat M LTE can be used “in-band” in 3GPP-compliant 5G NR deployments. A crucial part of the industry vision for “Critical IoT,” however, won’t be able to be supported until the end of 2019 with NR/Phase 2 (Release 16), which means the earliest commercial equipment will become available sometime in 2020.
This “ultra reliable low latency” upgrade for Release 16 is crucial for the millisecond latency needed for everything from self-driving cars, to automated product lines, to supporting more sophisicated thin client devices. Like rival Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Ericsson is gearing up for this IoT industrial sector to be a money-spinner for the company in 5G — just not yet. (See Nokia Reveals Future X Network Project.)
Comments are closed.