France's telecoms regulator said it has authorised Orange to conduct the first 5G trials in the country with a specific focus on the use of millimetre-wave (mm-wave) frequency bands between 6 GHz and 100 GHz for the new services.
Arcep said the trials will be conducted in the city of Belfort up to the end of 2016 and fall within the remit of the mmMagic project, which in turn is co-funded by the European Commission's 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G PPP) programme.
The regulator added that this trial is also part of a larger course of action being taken by Arcep to stimulate innovation. Since Jan. 1 this year, the regulator has issued some 75 authorisations to use frequencies for the purpose of conducting trials and experiments. In Belfort, Orange is permitted to use frequencies in the 3400-3800 MHz, 10500-10625 MHz and 17300-17425 MHz bands.
mmMagic was established earlier this year to develop new technologies that can operate in frequency bands between 6 GHz and 100 GHz and accelerate the standardisation of mm-wave technologies for 5G as part of a two-year research programme.
The programme is led by South Korea-based equipment manufacturer Samsung and also backed by Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Intel and Nokia as well as European operators Orange and Telefonica. When it was first established, the consortium stressed that while the use of such extremely high frequencies for mobile communications is challenging, it is necessary to support 5G's "extreme mobile broadband service".
5G services are expected to require very high (up to 10 Gbps) data rates and, in some scenarios, very low end-to-end latencies (less than 5 ms). The mmMAGIC project aims to develop and design new concepts for mobile radio access technology (RAT) for deployment in the 6 GHz to 100 GHz range, including novel waveform, frame structure and numerology, novel adaptive and cooperative beam-forming and tracking techniques to address the specific challenges of millimetre wave mobile propagation. This new RAT is envisaged as a key component in the overall 5G multi-RAT ecosystem, which is expected to integrate 5G and LTE radio interfaces.
The mmMagic project is also backed by research institutes including Fraunhofer HHI, CEA LETI and IMDEA Networks; universities in Aalto, Bristol, Chalmers and Dresden; measurement equipment vendors such as Keysight Technologies, Rohde & Schwarz; and signal and information processing specialist Qamcom.
- see this Arcep release
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