First 5G device on a live 5G NR network demonstrated in Europe

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The first 5G connection in the 3.5 GHz spectrum band on a live device took place at Swisscom’s Dialog Arena technology showcase event in Lucerne this week, in what was described as an important milestone in the commercialisation of 5G.

The live test was conducted by Qualcomm, Swisscom, Ericsson and Wistron NeWeb using a 5G CPE, the WNC MWH-5 accessing Swisscom’s 3GPP Rel-15 5G NR network based on Ericsson’s hardware and software for radio, transport and core network solutions.

At the event, the device connected to the 5G NR Swisscom network and displayed a 5G icon. The WNC device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and RF subsystem is expected to be one of the first commercially available 5G devices on Swisscom’s 5G network in first half of 2019.

In addition to the WNC device, Swisscom also demonstrated a 5G NR data transfer on the same 5G network using Qualcomm’s smartphone form factor mobile test device, also powered by the Snapdragon X50 5G modem and RF subsystem that will power commercial 5G mobile devices expected in 2019.

Swisscom announced that 3GPP-compliant 5G NR sites have been put into operation using a test licence in Geneva, Lausanne, Berne, Burgdorf, Lucerne and Zurich to gain insights about different real-world network conditions such as highly crowded environments, lake surfaces or mountain areas.

“In the past, we only had lab-like demonstrations. Now we have successfully connected both, Qualcomm Technologies' 5G mobile test device and WNC’s CPE, with our live 5G network,” said Urs Schaeppi, CEO of Swisscom.

“This is the first 5G NR OTA connection worldwide between devices and a live operator network using 3.5 GHz spectrum, marking an important milestone for the mobile industry in Europe to help enable OEMs and operators to deliver 5G networks and devices in the first half of 2019,” explained Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated.