SoftBank & Ericsson Plot 5G Trials in Japan

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 more on 5G strategies, check out our 5G channel here on Light Reading.

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

Ariella 7/28/2015 | 3:45:33 PM
Re: the standardization process. @nasimon yes, if it really is to roll out by 2020 with some applications in 2018, as predicted by Intel, we do need to get trials underway now. 
nasimson 7/28/2015 | 2:49:19 PM
the standardization process. Good to see that 5G is coming out of labs into field trials. Thats a promising development. I hope the results of these trials would help accelerate the standardization process.
DHagar 7/20/2015 | 2:12:02 PM
Re: Plot 5G Trials Dan, thanks - good info.  So this may be "The" pilot to watch - that's exciting.
DanJones 7/20/2015 | 1:50:57 PM
Re: Plot 5G Trials Answers 


1/ It will be one of the leading-edge trials, don't forget that NTT DoCoMo is working on a similar path. 

2/ From what I hear there's still plenty of disagreement about air interfaces and how broadly 5G should be defined. I'm sure Ericsson and SoftBank would love for this trial to help solidify standards. They have as good a chance as any of the other players.
DHagar 7/17/2015 | 3:48:40 PM
Re: Plot 5G Trials Dan, I am very interested in the 5G networks, I understand this is truly the future.

Two questions:  1)  Will this be the leading edge trial for 5G?             

                       2)  Do you see both companies using this network as the standard to be adopted then in the global market?
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