Qualcomm reveals 5G spectrum sharing prototype and trial platform

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Qualcomm Technologies has introduced its first 5G New Radio (NR) spectrum sharing prototype system and trial platform.

With the industry designing 5G NR to get the most out of spectrum available across all spectrum types (licensed, unlicensed and shared spectrum) and across spectrum from lower bands (sub-6 GHz) to high bands in the mmWave range, Qualcomm’s prototype system aims to show that 5G spectrum sharing technologies could bring higher levels of mobile broadband performance to shared spectrum to enable fiber-like experiences.

It could also extend 5G into new types of deployments, such as dedicated 5G networks for enterprise and industrial IoT, said Matt Grob, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Qualcomm Technologies.

“5G NR spectrum sharing innovations enable new spectrum sharing paradigms. This technology will benefit operators with licensed spectrum but also opens the doors to those without licensed spectrum – such as cable operators, enterprise or IoT verticals – to take advantage of the 5G NR family of technologies,” he said in a statement.

The new prototype is based on the Qualcomm’s sub-6-GHz and mmWave 5G NR end-to-end prototypes which includes both base station and user equipment (UE). Qualcomm’s shared spectrum testbed is expanded to support Listen-Before-Talk (LBT) technology, wideband waveforms with low latency, and enhancements in the radio and network protocols, on top of which new spectrum sharing technologies are being designed and evaluated.

Qualcomm says that 5G spectrum sharing will expand and enhance the spectrum sharing technologies introduced in LTE –  specifically, License Assisted Access (LAA) to aggregate across spectrum types, LTE Wi-Fi Aggregation (LWA) to aggregate across technologies, CBRS/License Shared Access (LSA) to share spectrum with incumbents and other deployments, and MulteFire to operate stand-alone deployments in unlicensed spectrum.

The new prototype system will be utilized for technology development in 2017 with field trials together with industry leaders to follow.

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