SoftBank and Ericsson said Thursday that they will hold joint field trials in Tokyo of technology that is expected to become part of the future 5G wireless specification.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has already run 5G tests that have delivered 5GBit/s data rates over the air. "The joint field trial will demonstrate ultra-high bit rates and ultra-low latency with the Ericsson 5G trial system by using a number of frequency bands," the vendor said in a statement. (See In Ericsson's 5G Lab and Ericsson Testing 5G Use Cases, CFO Says.)
Ericsson is deep into antenna research and development for 5G. It is looking at "Massive MIMO" setups, arrays of multiple antennas with steerable signals emanating from each antenna element. The vendor is looking at frequencies of 6GHz and below, as well as looking at 15GHz and 60GHz in the future. (See Ericsson Spearheads EU 5G R&D Group and Ericsson & IBM: The Many Phases of 5G.)
For its part, SoftBank Corp. is interested in Machine-Type Communication (MTC) in 5G. This concerns how large volumes of automatic wireless transmissions from devices like sensors, cars and other machines can be handled on the network.
Of course, a 5G standard proper has not yet been agreed on in the industry, only that it is likely to use higher frequencies and much more dense antenna arrays. (See Lines Get Drawn in Road to 5G.)
SoftBank's major Japanese rival NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) has said, however, that it wants to have a commercial 5G network up and running in time for the Tokyo Olympics in July 2020. (See DoCoMo & EE Share 5G Visions.)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading