Ericsson says it has contracted Taiwan-based ODM Wistron NeWeb (WNC) to deliver 5G mobile hotspot routers to be used in customer trials starting this month.
The device is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and will be used for mid-band 5G NR non-standalone (NSA) solutions, also supporting high-end LTE access.
The 5G mobile hotspot router has one USB connection and one normal cable power connection and can be used in two phases.
In phase one, it can be used for interoperability tests with Ericsson’s first-mover customers using pre-commercial hardware and is available from Q4 2018. In phase two, the device has a commercial form factor and will be used for Ericsson’s own general testing alongside customer engagements.
Ericsson says that device availability is essential for 5G to reach commercial readiness, and has been staging interoperability development tests (IoDT) on both mid- and high-frequency bands for networks and devices.
The deal with WNC will enable the testing of both network performance and mobility in real-life situations, said Thomas Noren, head of 5G commercialization at Ericsson.
Fayu Chen, SVP and GM of WNC’s AIS business group, added, “Early access to devices will drive testing across markets and use cases. It will also provide feedback on device portfolio requirements for years to come.”