China Mobile, Agilent partnering on 5G prototype test bed

Lots of companies are partnering up to figure out what 5G is and how it will be deployed. One of the newest collaborations is between test-and-measurement vendor Agilent Technologies and China Mobile Communications Research Institute (CMRI), the R&D arm of the world's largest mobile operator.

Agilent was tapped to provide wireless testing solutions for CMRI's 5G research, which will also leverage Agilent's expertise software-defined radios.

CMRI's research topics include large-scale antenna systems (LSAS), full-duplex radio, energy efficiency and spectral efficiency co-design, and new signaling/control mechanisms "to achieve the main theme of green and soft," the companies said. They explained that "green and soft" refers to 5G research areas related to energy and spectral efficiency co-design, signaling and control, invisible base stations and full duplex radio.

"We will provide the CMRI research teams with the measurement expertise required to design, develop and validate their new 5G systems and set up the 5G prototype test bed," said Andy Botka, vice president and general manager of Agilent's microwave and communications division.

Added Chih-Lin I, CMRI chief scientist: "This test platform is essential for the effective evaluation of candidate core technologies and architectures in the pursuit of 5G and the timely demonstration of the key capabilities of future wireless networks."

China and South Korea have set up national research and development programs that rival similar efforts being undertaken within the European Union. In China, three ministries--the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)--set up an IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group in February 2013 to coordinate all 5G activities in Chinese industry and academia.

Agilent will maintain a dedicated team in its R&D center in Beijing to work directly with the CMRI teams. CMRI has some 1,000 research scientists, engineers, managerial and administrative staff.

Agilent has 20,600 employees serving customers in more than 100 countries. On Sept. 19, 2013, Agilent announced plans to separate into two publicly traded companies via a tax-free spinoff of its electronic measurement business that should be completed in early November 2014. The new company is called Keysight Technologies.

For more:
- see this joint release

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Agilent's test and measurement spinoff dubbed Keysight Technologies