Japan's NTT DoCoMo said it has successfully conducted 5G trials in actual-use environments with no less than five big-name vendors: Nokia Networks (NYSE:NOK), Samsung, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Huawei and Fujitsu.
The operator, which has said it wants to launch a 5G system in time for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, last week touted several of the trials it has conducted with those vendors over the past two months.
At the Roppongi Hills high-rise complex in Tokyo on Oct. 13, a 5G trial with Nokia Networks achieved ultra-high-speed data transmission of more than 2 Gbps. That trial used millimeter wave signals at 70 GHz, which DoCoMo said was a key development for the eventual commercial use of 5G wireless technology in actual-use environments.
The trial was successful thanks to the use of beamforming technology, which focuses radio waves in a specific direction, and beam tracking to control beam direction based on a mobile device's location.
In a separate trial with Samsung Electronics in Suwon-city, South Korea, on Nov. 12, the operator and vendor achieved a maximum data-receiving speed of more than 2.5 Gbps in a vehicle traveling at 60 kilometers per hour. That trial used a 28 GHz signal in combination with beamforming, a lot of antenna elements and beam tracking.
With Ericsson, DoCoMo verified the feasibility of massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology by achieving a real-time data-receiving speed of more than 10 Gbps using Ericsson 5G radio prototypes at 15 GHz.
In an outdoor data transmission trial with Huawei Technologies, a multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) transmission of 43.9 bps/Hz/cell was achieved, which was 3.6 times more efficient than past outdoor trials of LTE-Advanced based MU-MIMO technology, according to DoCoMo.
With Fujitsu, DoCoMo confirmed a multi-base station cooperative transmission system by achieving a data-receiving speed of more than 11 Gbps using four mobile devices with a 4.6 GHz signal.
In the U.S., a lot of research is being done in and out of academic institutions on millimeter wave spectrum and use cases for 5G. At its facilities in San Diego earlier this month, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) demonstrated a system operating in the 28 GHz band using a millimeter wave base station with 128 antenna elements and 16 controllable RF channels. The public demo was designed to show how using intelligent, directional beam forming can be used to "mobilize" millimeter wave so that it can be used in areas where people might want to move around in a non-line-of-sight, dense, urban environment.
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