Ericsson, China Telecom test 5G standalone DSS call over 2.1 GHz

Ericsson said the test showed its Spectrum Sharing solution can be deployed on a dual-mode 5G core-enabling standalone (SA) network. (FierceWireless)

Ericsson and China Telecom have successfully demoed dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) on a standalone 5G network, in what the vendor called a first for China.

The test took place in Deyang City, Sichuan Province over 2.1 GHz frequencies on China Telecom’s commercial 5G network.

According to Ericsson, the data call is an example of how service providers can roll out 5G services faster, since it showed that Ericsson Spectrum Sharing can be rolled out on a dual-mode 5G core that enables standalone (SA) 5G.

In the U.S. T-Mobile already launched it’s 5G SA network, and while operators plan to shift to SA, most 5G networks have initially rolled out in Non Standalone (NSA) mode. In NSA, the core is still anchored in 4G to support signaling, but that’s no longer the case in SA.

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China Telecom can use SA together with DSS to roll out nationwide standalone 5G coverage with FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) bands. It also extends coverage of higher frequency TDD (Time Division Duplex) bands with carrier aggregation, according to Ericsson. 

The vendor called out Voice over NR (VoNR) capabilities as well. With dual-mode connectivity 5G smartphones, voice calls are handled over 4G connections with 5G boosting data. Once a network moves to standalone, 5G still needs to support the basic capability of native voice calling, enabled by VoNR.

Ericsson previously completed successful VoNR tests with partners including MediaTek and Oppo.

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In the latest tests with China Telecom, the data call was performed while supporting both 4G and 5G commercial users on the same 2.1 GHz spectrum. As for throughput, Ericsson said downlink and uplink “reached the expected service-level peak rates.”

The Swedish vendor’s Ericsson Spectrum Sharing solution helps increase mid- and high-band coverage, while allow operators to deploy 4G, 5G NSA New Radio and 5G SA simultaneously across FDD bands without having to dedicate spectrum to 5G.

Spectrum resources can be shared dynamically between 4G and 5G on a 1 millisecond basis.

In a statement, Per Narvinger, head of Product Area Networks at Ericsson, called the test a key milestone for delivering 5G to all.

“This achievement shows how communications service providers can use the advantages of the fast and cost-efficient 5G coverage enabled by Ericsson Spectrum Sharing to deploy 5G Standalone,” Narvinger stated. “This will create business opportunities for our customers and deliver superior user experiences for 5G subscribers.”

Ericsson scored 5G radio access network (RAN) contracts with China’s mobile operators earlier this year, including China Telcom, China Mobile and China Unicom. It’s also supplying 5G core components for China Telecom and China Mobile. The two operators together have said they plan to build 250,000 5G base stations in 2020.