Ericsson and MediaTek – dual connectivity trial smooths 5G SA path

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Their demo showed mmWave can be used in 5G SA architecture alongside mid-band spectrum.

Ericsson and MediaTek say they have proved that dual connectivity boosts 5G user experience with greater speeds and lower latency.

Dual connectivity combines the wide coverage of sub-6GHz bands with the higher data rates of millimeter wave (mmWave) on commercial hardware and chipsets.

Aggregation

The partners achieved a new milestone by aggregating 800MHz of high-band spectrum and 60MHz of mid-band spectrum to reach speeds of up to 5.1Gbps on an individual user device.

They claim this is the first time that mmWave has been tested in a 5G Standalone (5G SA) mode combined with mid-band spectrum.

The 5G Dual Connectivity, or New Radio (NR) DC, test was performed in a mmWave chamber, sending the signal over the air to a device with a MediaTek M80 5G modem.

The demo used Ericsson Radio System hardware and Ericsson’s 5G Core with an IP-flow centric architecture for cost-efficient support of high peak rates.

Connection

The demo showed that mmWave can be used “robustly” in new 5G SA architecture as the connection resides in both mmWave and mid-band spectrum. This enables higher uplink and downlink data rates for 5G SA than currently deployed. As the throughput is aggregated, this also presents a significant coverage increase.

The advantages of increased speeds and coverage are in addition to the low latency, improved security, and network slicing capabilities that 5G SA already enables.

NR DC is enabled by the signalling and high peak rate support in Ericsson’s 5G Core, 5G RAN (Ericsson Radio System) and user equipment (UE), such as the MediaTek M80 modem. Ericsson will release the NR DC functionality commercially during the third business quarter of 2021.