SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics are apparently making progress on their commitment to work together on 5G network technology research. The pair will jointly demonstrate 3D beamforming using millimeter-wave (mmW) frequency bands when the industry convenes at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, Spain, next week.
Not only that, but they're promising to break a speed record, transmitting data at 7.55 Gbps, nearly two times faster than the 3.77 Gbps speed showcased by Samsung and SK Telecom in the World IT Show held in October last year, according to The Korea Herald.
Historically, millimeter-wave frequency bands were not generally accepted as a means for cellular communication due to high propagation loss. That's changing, however, with Samsung and other vendors demonstrating that high frequency bands can be used to deliver 5G-like services.
Beamforming plays an essential role in millimeter wave network performance. By using 3D beamforming, the two companies will use a technique that involves sensing the location of a smartphone and directing a narrow pencil-like beam toward it, writes PC World.
In addition to millimeter-wave 3D beamforming technology, the two companies will show the "Full Dimension MIMO" that uses "tens to hundreds" of antennas, greatly surpassing the maximum of eight antennas defined in the current LTE-Advanced standard.
Not surprisingly, as the race to 5G heats up, SK Telecom and Samsung say they want to use the demonstrations to further solidify their technological leadership in the area of 5G. The two companies also are on a mission to earn the title of hosting the "world's first commercialization of 5G" in 2020.
SK Telecom and Samsung signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in October 2014 to conduct joint research on 5G network technology and service development. At the time, the companies said they would conduct R&D and experiment on enabling technologies including next-generation small cells, massive MIMO and next-generation modulation/demodulation, plus work on the development of large-volume services for 5G and the Internet of Things.
In the U.S., the FCC is considering a proceeding on the use of spectrum bands above 24 GHz for mobile radio services. Various characteristics of the 28 and 39 GHz spectrum bands make them ideal candidates for 5G millimeter wave services, Samsung said in one of its FCC filings. Those two bands, for example, can support wide channel bandwidth, and together they can accommodate multiple licensees.
Samsung has conducted tests showing that both digital and analog beamforming are possible using its antenna design. Digital beamforming is achieved through digital pre-coding that multiplies a particular coefficient to the modulated baseband signal per RF chain, the company said.
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