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Ericsson to trial 5G with SoftBank and AT&T, Huawei hits Massive MIMO milestone on LTE


Ericsson and Huawei are paving the way towards 5G with trials of new technologies including Massive MIMO and 5G fixed wireless access.

The Swedish vendor is set to take part in two trials, one with Japanese operator SoftBank and one with the US’s AT&T.

SoftBank and Ericsson will conduct an end-to-end trial of 5G in the 4.5GHz band, using 5G New Radio, virtual RAN, virtual EPC, beamforming, Massive MIMO and test support services.

The trial is set to take place in Japan’s urban areas when SoftBank has obtained an experimental licence.

Meanwhile, Ericsson will take part in a 5G fixed wireless access trial with AT&T in Waco, Texas, Kalamazoo, Michigan and South Bend, Indiana.

[Read more: Arqiva seeks cheap fibre alternative with FWA trial, but questions remain]

Using virtualised RAN and a virtualised 5G core, the trial will focus on delivering connectivity to business and residences through the 28GHz mmWave band.

The new trial will build on previous work in Austin using mmWave spectrum, which delivered speeds of up to 1GBps and latency rates under 10ms.

The ambition is to bring forward standards-based deployment of 5G to as early as 2018.

Huawei also announced this week that it had completed field trials of 4.5G with China Mobile using Massive MIMO.

The trial achieved 1GBps cell throughput using only 20MHz of TDD spectrum, a significant improvement on the throughput of 720MBps that is currently available in commercial deployments, according to Huawei.

The Chinese vendor said the technique can deliver a sixfold or sevenfold increase in spectral efficiency compared to traditional base stations.