Deutsche Telekom (DT), Intel and Huawei say they’ve conducted the world's first 5G interoperability and development testing (IODT) based on the 3GPP Release 15 Standard with a commercial base station. The 3.5 GHz test was conducted in Shanghai.
They used Huawei's 5G commercial base station and Intel's third-generation 5G NR Mobile Trial Platform in the test, which is being hailed as an important step closer to full 5G commercialization. Huawei and Intel expect to support millions of 5G devices in 2019.
Fundamentals of the new 5G 3GPP NR standard, including new synchronization, coding, frame structure and numerology components underlying the interconnection of the NR-compliant terminal and network, were verified as part of the process.
The test configuration was based on the largest C-band cell bandwidth defined by the 5G NR standard, according to a press release. It also incorporates Massive MIMO multiantenna and beamforming technology enabled by the standard framework.
Huawei announced last year that it was partnering with Intel to launch 3GPP 5G NR based IODT to verify 5G technologies and their degree of maturity.
DT, Huawei and Intel were among those that had pushed last March for an accelerated timeframe for the 5G standard, enabling large-scale trials and deployments starting in 2019. That ultimately was the direction the industry agreed to go.
The first 5G NR standard was completed on Dec. 21, 2017, at the 3GPP TSG RAN meeting in Lisbon, Portugal. That was for the Nonstandalone (NSA) version; the Standalone version is due for completion in June 2018, defining the full user and control plane capability for 5G NR using the new 5G core network architecture.
Shortly after the 3GPP approved the NSA 5G NR standard, a group of companies, including Ericsson and Qualcomm, showcased 3GPP-compliant 5G NR multivendor interoperability in both an Ericsson Lab in Kista, Sweden, and the Qualcomm Research lab in New Jersey. That over-the-air IODT was conducted for lower layer data connections operating at both 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands.
Last year, Samsung Electronics America and Cisco, in partnership with Verizon, announced the deployment of the first multivendor end-to-end 5G trial network in the field, which took place in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That deployment was based on Verizon’s 5G Technical Forum specification, not the 3GPP spec. The three companies followed a series of network vendor interoperability tests that demonstrated seamless interworking between core network, radio edge and user devices that showcased a core principle of next-generation network virtualization via multivendor support.
Editor's Note: Story updated Jan. 26 to reflect the test was conducted in Shanghai, not Beijing.