Ericsson announced it is one of several partners chosen by Vodafone Group to research 5G and prepare the operator's networks for the transition to the next generation technology.
Vodafone Group aims to define 5G industry standards, technical guidelines and product roadmaps as part of the collaboration. The operator's UK Innovation Labs is set to conduct trials on Vodafone's radio and core networks, test and evaluate a range of 5G technologies and services, and set priorities on which 5G benefits could be launched commercially in 2020, when the ITU is set to formally define the standards for the technology.
Arun Bansal, SVP and head of Business Unit Radio at Ericsson, welcomed "the opportunity to support Vodafone's 5G research objectives." The infrastructure company is "focused on taking 5G out of the labs and into the real-world environments," he explained.
Vodafone Group CTO Johan Wibergh said it "is important to establish dedicated research programmes" with leading technology companies including Ericsson, as part of the telecoms industries' efforts to establish "what technology will deliver the benefits we expect from 5G."
Ericsson followed up the Vodafone partnership announcement by revealing it achieved a throughput of over 25 Gbps during field trials of 5G radio prototypes using multi-user, multiple input and output (MU-MIMO), Massive MIMO, and beam tracking.
Bansal said the trio of technologies used in its prototype kit are necessary "to make the greater bandwidth available in millimetre wave spectrum commercially viable."
The company stated that its prototype equipment is currently delivering a minimum of 12 Gbps data rates per user in live network environments. Those rates are boosted to at least 25 Gbps when MU-MIMO is employed, it noted.
Ericsson conducted live demonstrations of the radio prototypes for executives from NTT DoCoMo and Korea Telecom (KT) at a research facility in Sweden, and said it will offer similar demonstrations during the forthcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
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