AT&T, Ericsson to demo 5G millimeter wave at Austin conference next week

University of Texas at Austin
Image: University of Texas at Austin

Organizers of next week’s Texas Wireless Summit (TWS) 2016 in Austin, Texas, promised the Summit will include a first-ever public demonstration of AT&T and Ericsson 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) technology.

Developed by Ericsson, the system incorporates key 5G components: Large system bandwidth, phased arrays with ultra-fast beam steering, feedback-based hybrid precoding, multi-user MIMO, dynamic beam tracking and beam acquisition.

Ericsson received authority to conduct the tests through a Special Temporary Authorization (PDF), or STA, granted by the FCC last month. It’s unclear how this demo will differ from one Ericsson did at the 2016 CTIA show, as its application said the commission has previously granted Ericsson authority to conduct “nearly identical demos numerous times,” including at the CTIA show.

However, Ericsson explained that the demo will use two experimental 5G base stations and one piece of experimental 5G mobile user equipment, and it will be conducted entirely indoors with, at most, a 30-foot radius of operation. It plans to conduct the demo at 14679.25-15479.25 MHz frequency because the prototypes were designed in Sweden to operate on that band. The STA grant specifically required that Ericsson must not use the 15.35-15.4 GHz part of the band, as it’s allocated for passive space sensors and radio astronomy.

Conference organizers pointed out that AT&T and Ericsson have done extensive lab and field testing over the past several months to optimize the performance of their system. Some specific tests and features they will demonstrate at the summit include multi-Gbps of bandwidth, multiple 4K HD video streams, multi-user MIMO and dynamic beam tracking and acquisition.

Just ahead of the CTIA show last month, Ericsson announced it was commercializing the world’s first 5G New Radio (NR) for massive MIMO, with the first deployments to come in 2017. Ericsson had already announced its 5G Plug-Ins in June to address diverse 5G use cases, and it’s working with more than 20 mobile operators worldwide on 5G networking and use cases.

Now in its 14th year, TWS is hosted by the University of Texas at Austin’s Wireless Networking and Communications Group (WNCG). It will be held October 18 at the Blanton Museum of Art Edgar Smith Building. The main focus of the event is on how automated vehicles will re-shape wireless over the next 10 years.

This past spring, Nokia Networks and the NYU Wireless research center at NYU Tandon School of Engineering organized the third Brooklyn 5G Summit in New York. That summit also included a lot of industry heavyweights, in addition to academia and others.

For more:
- see this summit page
- see this RCR Wireless article

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Ericsson sees positive reaction to its 5G New Radio
Ericsson claims first in delivering 5G radio, with commercial deployments due in 2017
AT&T seeing 14 Gbps to one user, 5 Gbps to two users in 5G tests