Keysight Technologies, Qualcomm extend 5G Collaboration to Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) Technology

Keysight Technologies has extended its collaboration with Qualcomm to accelerate commercialization of Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technology, which will enable mobile operators to quickly and cost-effectively roll out (3GPP Release 15) 5G new radio (NR) data services (independent of 4G LTE or 5G IMT 2020 signaling/ control plane or mobile packet core).

DSS enables a mobile operator to flexibly allocate existing spectrum across low-, mid- and high- frequency bands, by dynamically switching between 4G LTE and 5G NR coverage based on traffic demand. Mobile operators can leverage DSS to deliver the best possible performance and coverage for a mix of 4G and 5G devices.  Mobile operators are expected to start deploying DSS on the prevailing 4G LTE base stations by 2020, thereby accelerating 5G services worldwide.  As such, DSS will greatly expand the capability of 3GPP Release 15 – 5G New Radio (NR) devices, according to Keysight.

Keysight’s 5G network emulation solutions was said to accelerate the development of Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF System to support DSS.  This collaboration bodes well for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon technology as the latest 5G network emulation solutions is enabled to support speed, latency, reliability and the emerging 5G infrastructure.

“Our continued collaboration with Keysight on 5G technology, which was initiated in 2015, has enabled Qualcomm Technologies to accelerate the implementation of DSS, a critical feature that will help mobile operators quickly transition to 5G,” said Jon Detra, vice president, engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc, in a statement.

“Keysight helps us develop and validate our Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF System designs at a pace that will help accelerate 5G commercialization.”

“Our extended collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies on 5G technology enables device makers and mobile operators to cost-effectively build out 5G coverage”, said Kailash Narayanan, vice president and general manager of Keysight’s wireless test group.

Earlier this year, Keysight announced that the company’s 5G collaboration with Qualcomm resulted in several industry breakthroughs: the industry’s first Global Certification Forum (GCF) validation of 5G NR conformance test cases for radio frequency (RF) demodulation and radio resource management (RRM); and the industry’s first announced 5G NR data call in the Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) mode.

Many Other Companies Working on DSS:

Ericsson has also collaborated with Qualcomm by making the world’s first 5G data call using DSS as we reported in this IEEE Techblog post.  Also,  Verizon is said to be working with chip makers and equipment vendors to advance DSS, which its CEO Hans Vestberg envisions applying across its full spectrum holdings. The carrier identified DSS as a key feature for their broader 5G deployment.

Paul Challoner, vice president of network solutions for Ericsson North America, said that he expects “multiple large customers” to use DSS around the second half of the year. While he noted that Swisscom mentioned using DSS in its recent announcement about its 5G deployment, he said the operator isn’t necessarily going to be the first to use it.  DSS will only work with 5G-ready equipment, so operators that haven’t upgraded their network gear in the past couple of years won’t be able to use DSS. Challoner said that most of the large operators have upgraded their networks with 5G-ready equipment, but he noted that smaller operators may need to look at DSS as an extra incentive to upgrade their networks quickly. “This is a capex friendly way to get to 5G,” he said.

Qualcomm is already developing chips for consumer devices that will enable them to make use of DSS-enabled spectrum. Dean Brenner, senior vice-president of Spectrum Strategy and Technology at Qualcomm, has called DSS a game-changer. Phones that use DSS will need chips that support the different cellular standards. It’s not completely clear when the chips needed for the flexible phones will be commercially available.

Steve Scarlett, head of technology for Verizon customer business at Nokia, said that the timing of DSS deployment really depends upon the availability of 5G handsets that have the spectrum sharing capability because existing LTE handsets won’t be able to take advantage of the network upgrade, and operators need to be careful so DSS doesn’t impact existing LTE customers.  Scarlett also said that he believes DSS will eventually be critical for 5G roaming because the spectrum bands where LTE is deployed are already being used globally for LTE roaming. Once 5G becomes more pervasive, operators will need to figure out a way for users to roam and still get the same 5G services.  “There are timing signals in LTE that can’t be messed with,” Scarlett added.

Ed Gubbins, senior analyst with GlobalData, said that the value of DSS really depends upon the operator’s spectrum assets and their 5G rollout plans. Some operators aren’t planning to use overlapping spectrum for 4G and 5G, so they won’t need DSS. He also noted that DSS is really intended to be used by each vendor’s existing 4G customers. In other words, Ericsson customers will likely use Ericsson’s DSS product and Nokia’s customers will use Nokia’s product. The same will occur with Huawei and Samsung, which also offer spectrum sharing solutions.



Ericsson 5G data call using dynamic spectrum sharing with Qualcomm 5G Modem-RF System


2 thoughts on “Keysight Technologies, Qualcomm extend 5G Collaboration to Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) Technology

  1. Tech Mahindra has announced an extended collaboration with Keysight to support leading mobile operators achieve their goals of successfully deploying new 5G devices.

    Due to low latency and high range, 5G devices will be the key catalyst behind the expansion of Vehicle to Everything (V2X) communications, that is, passing of information from a vehicle to any entity like vehicle, infrastructure and grid that may affect the vehicle, and vice versa.

    Karthikeyan Natarajan, Global Head – Integrated Engineering Solutions, Tech Mahindra, said, “The successful rollout of 5G is critical for the promotion of the next phase of digital transformation. Tech Mahindra is betting big on the 5G opportunity and is looking at the global markets to achieve growth. The 5G market is moving quickly and our collaboration with Keysight will enable us to provide the customers an environment which supports the accelerated 5G lifecycle.”

    Tech Mahindra will leverage Keysight’s 5G protocol and radio frequency/radio resource management (RF/RRM) carrier acceptance toolsets which are part of the Keysight’s suite of 5G network emulation solutions. The solutions will be offered to communication service providers (CSPs) and telecom equipment manufacturers (TEMs) which will help leading 5G mobile operators deliver a superior subscriber experience.

    Kailash Narayanan, Vice President and General Manager of Keysight’s Wireless Test Group, said, “We’re pleased that Tech Mahindra has chosen Keysight to help them address key 5G test requirements mandated by mobile operators, device makers and various standards. By offering a strong portfolio of 5G carrier acceptance solutions adopted by a connected mobile ecosystem, we’re accelerating global 5G commercialization of multi-mode devices in different form factors.”

  2. Ericsson Spectrum Sharing launches commercially
    By Harry Baldock, Total Telecom, Thursday 27 February 20

    The new software will allow 4G and 5G to be deployed on the same band, improving efficiency and removing the need for reinvestment

    With the availability of spectrum always a thorn in operators’ sides, Ericsson has launched a new software solution that should allow them to get the maximum out of this precious resource.

    Ericsson Spectrum Sharing (ESS) software allows 4G and 5G to share the same band and the same radio, switching between the two in a millisecond based on user demand. It will allow operators to make the most of their existing spectrum, rolling out 5G on their existing LTE bands without needing to reinvest.

    “For the first time, our customers do not have to re-farm spectrum before deploying a new ‘G’ and can quickly get 5G on the same footprint as they have with 4G today,” said Ericsson’s VP and head of networks, Fredrik Jejdling. “In the next 12 months, more than 80 percent of the commercial 5G networks we support will use our spectrum sharing solution to achieve broad 5G coverage.”

    ESS is to be implemented by a range of service providers, including Swisscom, Telstra, Ooredoo, and Play.

    This news comes just days after rival Huawei released its own dynamic spectrum sharing solution, called Hybrid DSS. Nokia has yet to launch a similar product, but reportedly has plans to do so later this year.

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