Ericsson seeks modification to license for 5G tests with Verizon

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) is asking the FCC to grant it the ability to modify an existing license so it can advance its 5G testing with Verizon (NYSE: VZ).

According to a heavily redacted filing with the FCC, Ericsson wants to move base stations within a 2-mile radius around a facility in Piscataway, N.J., at which they are presently located. The user equipment also will be operating within a 2-mile radius. "The purpose of this is to add residential/apartment/neighborhood cell coverage clusters, each with a 1000 foot radius," the application states.

The trials will continue to use both 15 GHz and 28 GHz spectrum and will include multiple base stations. The objectives of the field market trial with Verizon are to develop 5G hardware and software to support later commercial deployment to end users and to support "numerous 5G use cases."

The specific use cases that Ericsson is referring to are reacted on the form, so it's unknown what the use cases are and what they will apply to. The vendor is asking that the application be processed as "expeditiously as possible," by or before April 30, 2016.

Interestingly, Ericsson is asking for authorization to transmit on 14.5-15.35 GHz only because the experimental equipment was built to function on that spectrum for initial testing in Sweden and it continues to be used for Ericsson's overall 5G research program. Recognizing the existence of government systems in the 15 GHz band, Ericsson says that "out of an abundance of caution," it is providing a 24-hour emergency contact who can turn off any transmissions should interference be detected.

Last week, Verizon filed for special temporary authority (STA) to test equipment from Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Samsung in the 28 GHz band. The tests are to be conducted in Euless, Texas, and South Plainfield, N.J. Nokia was granted an experimental license in January and it also is part of the tests being done in Euless, a suburb of Dallas.

Verizon has been working with its 5G Technology Forum partners to work aggressively on technical alignment and says it's making significant progress on field networks and testing the characteristics of 5G technology in real-world environments.

Other operators are on track to conduct 5G experiments as well. In February, AT&T (NYSE: T) asked the FCC for a three-year experimental license to conduct fixed and mobile tests in the 3400-3600 MHz, 3700-4200 MHz, 14500-15350 MHz and 27500-28500 MHz bands with "various types of experimental wireless equipment" in Austin, Texas.  

T-Mobile US also recently filed to get the FCC's permission to test millimeter wave technology in and around its own facilities in Bellevue, Wash., using equipment from various unnamed manufacturers. Those tests will involve the 28 GHz and 38 GHz spectrum.

For more:
- see this filing

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