AT&T Mobility, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies have announced plans to conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials based on the expected 5G New Radio (NR) specifications currently being developed by global standard development organisation the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). The trials will support operation in millimetre Wave (mmWave) spectrum and seek to accelerate commercial deployments in the 28GHz and 39GHz bands. In the trials, the companies intend to showcase new 5G NR mmWave technologies that utilise wide bandwidths available at these higher frequency bands to increase network capacity and expect to achieve multi-Gigabit-per-second data rates.
The trials will utilise device and base station prototype solutions from Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson, respectively, along with spectrum from AT&T, to simulate real-world scenarios across a broad set of use cases and deployment scenarios. The trials will employ 3GPP 5G NR multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques to deliver robust and sustained mobile broadband communications at the higher frequency bands, including non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments and device mobility. The interoperability trials are expected to commence in the US in the second half of 2017.