The OTA call was conducted in the Ericsson Lab in Stockholm, Sweden on the 3.5 GHz band. Similar to the companies’ first OTA calls performed using mmWave in both 28 and 39GHz spectrum bands, which occurred in September 2018, this latest sub-6 GHz call utilised Ericsson’s commercial 5G NR radio AIR 6488and baseband products and a mobile test device powered by the Qualcomm SnapdragonX50 5G modem and RF subsystem.
In December 2017, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies announced interoperability development testing (IODT) to help pave the way for commercial launches of 5G NR standard-compliant infrastructure, smartphones and other mobile devices in the first half of 2019. The successful 5G OTA calls using both sub-6 GHz and mmWave bands are critical milestones in the commercialisation process as operators and OEMs around the world can now utilise the companies’ products to conduct their own tests in their labs and the field.
Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, says, “Achieving interoperability on different spectrums shows the strength of the 5G ecosystem. Together with Qualcomm, we’ve successfully tested 5G NR on 39, 28 and now, 3.5 GHz band. These milestones add to the commercial readiness of 5G. They also assure operators of broader capacity options to cater for diverse use cases.”
“Today’s call marks a significant milestone as we have now successfully made 3GPP-compliant calls in the sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum bands, which will facilitate mobile operators’ deployment of their 5G NR networks,” adds Durga Malladi, senior vice president, engineering and general manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm. “Sub-6 GHz spectrum is instrumental to the global 5G NR rollout as it will provide wide area, high performance connectivity and has been allocated and auctioned in numerous regions around the world, including the US, Korea and Europe, with others to follow shortly. We look forward to continue working with Ericsson in making 5G a commercial reality for the mobile ecosystem.”