Verizon Migrating From Homebrew 5G, Enlists Qualcomm for Trials

Verizon looks ready to migrate from its own pre-5G spec to standards-based 5G, as the carrier has announced planned 5G over-the-air trials -- based on the 3GPP New Radio specification -- with Qualcomm in 2018.

The pair plan to run "over-the-air" trial that will be compliant with the first 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (NR) specification that will be part of Release 15. Tests will run on 28GHz and 39GHz.

In a statement, the companies say they "plan on delivering a common 5G NR mmWave technology platform for mobile and home broadband wireless access, supporting a 5G NR migration path for Verizon's early 5G fixed wireless access deployments and trials based on the 5G Technology Forum specifications."

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) introduced its homegrown 5GTF specification in July 2016. The operator has said it has run 5G tests in 11 cities in the US in the first half of this year. (See Verizon Fixed 5G Tests to Top 3Gbit/s?, Verizon Issues First 5G Radio Spec and Nokia Tests Verizon 5G .)

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Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) now has a single-chip X50 modem ready for developing 5G smartphones in 2018. The companies say thay will be testing smartphones, tablets and more in future trials. (See Qualcomm Claims 5G Data Call First.)

Light Reading has asked Verizon what the 3GPP move with Qualcomm will mean for 5GTF and what the migration timetable looks like. We will update with additional information when the operator responds.

Qualcomm didn't want to comment on Verizon's plans.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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