While students at NYU Wireless conducted pioneering research to prove that millimeter wave frequencies can and will work for mobile communications, its partners in the vendor community are demonstrating how that research applies to real-world scenarios.
Intel, Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Samsung, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) are participating in demonstrations today at the FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C., where they're showcasing multi-antenna array, steerable beamforming, multiple MIMO, densification and other technologies.
While the vendors generally agree that a light-touch regulatory approach is ideal, Commissioner Michael O'Rielly said he is hopeful that participants would share, for example, ways in which the burdens of facilities siting could be eased. He also underscored the need for the U.S. to move forward on the 28 GHz band despite the outcome of last November's World Radiocommunication Conference, where the 28 GHz was not included as an area of study for 5G.
O'Rielly also concurred with a lot of commenters in the FCC's Spectrum Frontiers proceeding that the "hybrid" licensing proposal for 37 GHz, as outlined in the commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), should be discarded. Stakeholders like AT&T (NYSE: T), for example, say the hybrid licensing proposal is "riddled with complexities and costs" that would thwart the commercial viability of the band, while others, like Federated Wireless, support the hybrid model.
"Going forward, the Commission should seek comment on as many spectrum bands as possible within reason, including those mentioned in the Commission's notice, the WRC final report, and any others in which industry has expressed interest," O'Rielly said. "As you know all too well, incumbent services in the same or adjacent bands may present challenges. To have a sufficient pipeline, we must start to identify issues, determine whether clearing is possible or, in the alternative, sharing if necessary, and establish a timeframe in which the spectrum may be available."
Some bands will take longer to study and others may be determined to be ill‐suited for 5G offerings, "but we need to lay the groundwork so we can weigh all of the options. One thing is certain: it is not acceptable to say that a band is just too difficult," he said.
NYU Wireless founding director Ted Rappaport, who gave a keynote speech at the opening of the workshop, descibed the work he and his students have done over the years. NYU is making its channel model simulator and measurement data free and open to all in a move that potentially will short-circuit years of millimeter wave development time for companies that want to use it.
Many companies already are using the channel simulator, including some corporate sponsors of NYU Wireless and French operator Orange. With the new simulator, developers of 5G cellular phones, base station infrastructure and future Wi-Fi products are able leverage the work that was done in millimeter wave frequencies ranging from 28 to 73 gigahertz.
Samsung, one of the key partners with NYU Wireless, has been studying millimeter wave for the past five years, initially setting out to determine whether the spectrum was suited for a cellular-like system with mobility rather than just point-to-point applications. "We're pretty satisfied" that it works, going beyond research to the stage of actually developing products, said Woojune Kim, vice president of Next Generation Products and Business at Samsung during one of the morning's panel discussions.
Samsung is using the workshop to demonstrate very high-speed data transmission using 5G technology in the 28 GHz band. Data transmission is being done in an indoor wireless 5G prototype system with one base station and one customer premises equipment prototype. The base station will transmit over an 800 MHz-wide channel using a Time Division Duplex (TDD) frame structure. The company says it can achieve a 3.7 Gbps link speed using higher order modulation and coding schemes and MIMO communication with beam selection.
Ericsson is using the event to show how it can remotely control a Volvo Excavator located in Dallas with a connected simulator located at the FCC headquarters.
Nokia is demonstrating an experimental 5G system operating in the 73 GHz/E-band that can support a radio latency of less than 1 millisecond and multi-user acquisition and tracking. Intel is showcasing its 5G Mobile Trial Platform in 60 GHz, Mobile Edge mmWave Backhaul and Access for 5G Densification, Pre 5G Anchor Booster Concept with millimeter wave and Narrowband IoT, and Qualcomm is highlighting its 5G design and a live streaming demo of millimeter wave technology.
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