Verizon, Qualcomm and Novatel collaborate on 5G NR trials

Verizon sign from MWCA
Verizon says the collaboration is the next logical step toward extending its leadership in the advancement of 5G.

Verizon is getting together with Qualcomm Technologies and Novatel Wireless to collaborate on 5G New Radio (NR) millimeter-wave technology development and over-the-air field trials based on the 5G NR Release 15 specifications being developed by 3GPP.

The companies plan to initially focus on the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands. They're going to showcase how using advanced 5G NR technologies can achieve multigigabit-per-second data rates with mobility at significantly lower latencies than today’s networks.

The companies said in a press release that they plan on delivering a common 5G NR millimeter wave technology platform for mobile and home broadband wireless access, supporting a 5G NR migration path for Verizon’s early 5G fixed wireless access deployments and trials based on 5G-Technology Forum specifications.

Qualcomm made the announcement at its 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong, where it gathers with key hardware and software partners from around the world this week.

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The company announced at last year’s 4G/5G Summit that it was developing the Snapdragon X50 5G modem for OEMs and operators to use as part of their early 5G trials and deployments at 28 GHz. This week, it announced that it achieved what it considers a world first in a 5G data connection on a 5G modem chipset for mobile devices.

The companies expect their collaboration to include over-the-air trials, starting in 2018, that will be compliant with the first 3GPP 5G NR specification that will be part of Release 15. The trials will use 5G NR millimeter wave mobile test platforms from Qualcomm. They will also use advanced 5G NR MIMO antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques.

Qualcomm expects to use learnings from these trials to help drive the ongoing development of the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem family to support anticipated commercial service launches starting in the first half of 2019 based on the global 3GPP 5G NR standard.

RELATED: Qualcomm developing Snapdragon X50 5G modem for OEMs, operators to use in 28 GHz trials

Verizon has been conducting fixed wireless 5G trials in 11 markets across the country and has talked about using those learnings to determine how such a service might be priced, among other things.

“Verizon’s investment in mmWave spectrum has given us the flexibility to pursue a first-of its kind fixed wireless broadband customer trial, which has been invaluable in advancing our expertise in the deployment of mmWave technology,” said Ed Chan, senior vice president of Verizon Technology Strategy & Planning, in a prepared statement. “With the collaboration we’re announcing today, we are taking the next logical step towards extending our leadership position in the advancement of 5G, part of the Verizon Intelligent Edge Network.”

Novatel Wireless is a subsidiary of Inseego, a global provider of IoT solutions. "We believe our unique expertise and capabilities are well aligned in the commercialization of 5G by delivering the next generation of high performance mobile broadband and IoT solutions,” said Stephen Sek, chief technology officer at Novatel Wireless, in the release.