AT&T, Samsung & Friends Plot Crisp 5G Demos for the Fall

Dan Jones
8/31/2016

Get ready for a "5G Fall" as operators and their prospective vendor partners ramp up their test and trial activities, with AT&T seeking another license to test 5G indoors in Austin and Samsung reportedly planning to show off its technology to Google and Verizon.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a "1 week operational experimental license" to demo a 28GHz fixed wireless system indoors in Austin, Texas. AT&T wants to show off the fixed system -- with a range of 50 meters -- at the Texas Wireless Summit between October 15-22.

The operator has done much of its testing of early 5G systems in Austin, where it has systems in place at its labs and in the city. It's tapping Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) for the radio access network equipment. (See AT&T Lights Fire Under 5G, Plans 2016 Trials, AT&T Adds Nokia to 5G Trials and AT&T Wants to Start 5G Tests in Austin.)

AT&T's letter to the FCC states: "Applicant seeks authority to begin conducting these demonstrations to allow for trials before the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G standards are finalized in the 2018-2019 time period."

AT&T will not want to be upstaged by its major rival, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), which has already said it could launch 5G services ahead of official 3GPP specifications. (See 3GPP Wants to Complete Initial 5G Radio Spec in June 2018 and Verizon Updates 5G Spec, Could Launch Ahead of 3GPP.)


For all the latest news on 5G, visit the 5G site here on Light Reading.


Meanwhile, one of Verizon's key test partners, Samsung Corp. , is reportedly showing off its 28GHz system near the Californian headquarters of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and the Basking Ridge home of Verizon. Samsung also applied to do tests in Bridgewater and Bernadsville, N.J.

In its application to the FCC, Samsung states that the licenses are intended to offer customers a chance to see the system in action. "We will be operating at low power and within a very limited area of operation," the vendor writes. It expects the demos to last into early next year.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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TV Monitor
TV Monitor
9/2/2016 | 2:19:34 PM
Re: Small cells?
Director65557

"Tested ranges of Nokia and Ericsson's 15 Ghz systems are around 100 m"

Japanese publications have rather detailed description of NTT Docomo's testing with Nokia and Ericsson's 15 Ghz devices. This is how I know the range was around 100 m. Past 100 m, the transmission speed fell off the cliff with both systems.

"Samsung (28GHz) ... ranges up to 2 km."

This is from Samsung's official press release.

https://news.samsung.com/global/samsung-announces-worlds-first-5g-mmwave-mobile-technology

However, Samsung's new adaptive array transceiver technology has proved itself as a successful solution. It transmits data in the millimeter-wave band at a frequency of 28 GHz at a speed of up to 1.056 Gbps to a distance of up to 2 kilometers.

And yes, NTT Docomo also confirmed that they measured upto 4 Gbits/s on Samsung's 28 Ghz 5G system while driving around in a car at 40 mph. And Samsung 5G's receptive antenna was the only one they tested that was smartphone sized, vs suitcase sized antennas provided by Ericsson and Nokia.

So there is a world of difference bewteen Ericsson/Nokia and Samsung in terms on mobile reception, walking speed @ 100 m vs 68 mph @ 2 km, such that comparing them would be irrelevant.

DanJones
DanJones
9/1/2016 | 6:42:40 PM
Re: Small cells?
So basically Verizon deploys a fixed 5G data overlay in a few cities in the US? Geeeeee, that sounds exciting! And does nothing to fix 4G overcrowding anway. You're dreaming if you're thinking Verizon is going to use a single RAN vendor for a nationwide mobile deployment.
TV Monitor
TV Monitor
8/31/2016 | 11:05:03 PM
Re: Small cells?
Dan Jones

"so where does that leave us?"

Those running out of bandwidth today will have to buy from the single vendor.

Those who have extra room in bandwidth may choose to defer.
DanJones
DanJones
8/31/2016 | 10:00:44 PM
Re: Small cells?
Good for them! Operators aren't going to do a major rollout with a single RAN vendor, so where does that leave us?
TV Monitor
TV Monitor
8/31/2016 | 3:13:02 PM
Re: Small cells?
Dan Jones

Tested ranges of Nokia and Ericsson's 15 Ghz systems are around 100 m; 28 Ghz would be less than that.

Nokia and Ericsson are positioning its mmwave 5G systems as small-cells in high density urban area, whereas Samsung is positioning its mmwave 5G sytsem as a direct replacement of traditional macrocell LTE systems with ranges up to 2 km.
DanJones
DanJones
8/31/2016 | 12:29:27 PM
Small cells?
I wonder if AT&T is testing indoor small cells given the range described in the word doc they sent to the FCC.