What a difference a year makes. At this time last year at Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai, we first introduced our 5G NR sub-6 GHz prototype system and trial platform, and the standardization of 5G NR – the global 5G standard – had begun with the 3GPP Release 14 NR Study Item. Since then, we have made significant progress toward making 5G NR a reality and accelerated the 3GPP schedule.
Qualcomm Technologies and other industry leaders recently led the acceleration of the schedule for the first specification of 5G NR for it to complete at the end of this year, enabling large-scale trials and commercial deployments to start in 2019. We are proud to showcase this significant progress this week at MWC Shanghai 2017.
Since last year’s show, we have utilized our 5G NR sub-6 GHz prototype system, which operates at mid-band spectrum from 3.3 GHz to 5.0 GHz, as well as our 5G mmWave prototype system operating at 28 GHz, to design, test, and demonstrate our advanced 5G NR technology inventions. These technology inventions are driving 5G NR standardization as part of the ongoing 3GPP Release 15 NR Work Item.
Using the 5G NR sub-6 GHz prototype system, we demonstrated our first 3GPP-based 5G NR connection at MWC Barcelona this past February and showcased how advanced 5G NR technologies can achieve multi-gigabit-per-second data rates efficiently, at significantly lower latency than today’s 4G LTE networks. The first NR connection serves as an important milestone towards rapid validation and the upcoming commercialization of 5G NR at scale.
As the video describes, our flexible FPGA/DSP-based 5G NR prototype systems are built to closely track and help drive 3GPP standardization to enable timely 5G NR trials and commercial network launches. In recent months, Qualcomm Technologies has announced several 3GPP-based 5G NR trials and interoperability testing starting in the second half of this year, in collaboration with global mobile industry leaders. Tracking the 3GPP specification is important because it promotes adherence to, and validation of, the global 5G standard, which can accelerate the time to standard-compliant devices and infrastructure. It also drives forward compatibility to future 3GPP 5G NR releases as 5G evolves.
Qualcomm Technologies will be demonstrating the 5G NR sub-6 GHz prototype system publicly at MWC Shanghai from June 28-30 in the Qualcomm booth (Hall W5, Booth #W5.E90). The demo showcases implementation of advanced 5G NR technologies including adaptive self-contained TDD subframes, scalable OFDM-based waveforms to support a range of bands, bandwidths, and deployment topologies, advanced LDPC and Polar coding, and a new flexible, low-latency slot structure based design.
These advanced technologies are based on key design decisions that have been made as part of the ongoing 5G NR 3GPP standardization, and will be critical to meet the increasing connectivity requirements for emerging consumer mobile broadband experiences (for example, virtual reality, augmented reality, and connected cloud computing) as well as to enable new high-reliability, low-latency services for use cases like autonomous vehicles and industrial equipment.
I first introduced some of our key 5G NR technology inventions last December 2016. These are examples of technology inventions that are now driving the 5G NR Release 15 specification work that started this past March following a year-long study in Release 14. We continue to make significant progress toward this first specification, and to track and drive 3GPP standardization with our 5G NR prototype system.
For example, since MWC Barcelona, we have implemented advanced Polar encoding and decoding in our 5G NR design and prototype for the downlink control channel (PDCCH). This adds to the advanced LDPC coding for the downlink data channel (PDSCH) that we already demonstrated at MWC Barcelona. These advanced channel coding designs, along with other 5G NR technologies implemented in our prototype system, are being used to drive the Release 15 specification work that is still ongoing. They are also an indication of our readiness to efficiently implement and rapidly commercialize advanced 5G NR technologies once the specification is finalized in December this year.
Even though we are still well over a year away from wide-scale 5G commercial deployments based on the global 5G NR standard, excitement about 5G continues to grow. And I’m sure this 5G enthusiasm will be on full display at MWC Shanghai. At Qualcomm Technologies, we believe it is time for less 5G talk and more action. As an industry, the focus needs to shift towards making 5G NR a reality and driving the first phase of commercial deployments based on the global 5G NR standard. If you want to get a little dose of 5G NR reality, I encourage you to come by our booth at MWC Shanghai in Hall W5, Booth #W5.E90 or learn more at our 5G NR page.