5 Things Happening in 5G — DoCoMo, Facebook, Huawei, IETF, Qualcomm, Samgung and Telefonica Make News
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his Connectivity Lab team announce a new point-to-point wireless transmission record of 20 Gbps in a 13 Km point-to-point link, with a spectral efficiency of 9.8 bps/hz, using the same amount of power it takes to light a single lightbulb. DoCoMo reports groundbreaking results in two of its 5G trials; one trial with Samsung’s 28 GHz equipment delivering 2.5 Gbps to a device moving in a train at 150 km/h; and the other trial with Huawei’s 4.5 GHz equipment delivering an spectral efficiency of 79.82 bps/hz/cell. Qualcomm announces a new 5G NR Spectrum Sharing testbed with LBT (Listen Before Talk) capabilities. Telefónica says that Huawei’s 5G UCNC PoC delivers 233% more per-cell connections, 78% reduction in signaling overhead, and 95% lower latency than state-of the-art LTE. Last but not least, the work to make the Internet 5G-ready during the IETF97 meeting.
1. Telefónica and Huawei UCNC PoC Results in 5G Connections Per Cell Up 233%, Signaling Down 78%
Telefónica and Huawei have been testing CloudRAN UCNC (User Centric No Cell) with a hyper-cell network architecture that enables the large-area coordination of many base station nodes to eliminate handovers between cells and reduce interference from adjacent cells. UCNC reduces the over-the-air protocol signaling overhead and the access protocol latency, as well as increase the number of air-interface connection links. According to the results of PoC tests conducted at Telefónica-Huawei 5G joint lab, the number of 5G connections per cell increased by 233%, the signaling overhead decreased by 78%, and the latency decreased by 95% compared with state-of the-art LTE. In the next phase of the UCNC PoC, Telefónica and Huawei will target to enhance the cell edge spectral efficiency, in order to avoid end-user experience degradation at the cell edges and network service disruptions.
2. Qualcomm Announces 5G NR Spectrum Sharing Prototype
Qualcomm announces its first 5G New Radio (NR) spectrum sharing prototype system and trial platform. It enables 5G is to reap the maximum benefits out of the broad range of spectrum — licensed, unlicensed and shared. This new spectrum prototype is an add-on to Qualcomm’s existing prototype systems featuring License Assisted Access (LAA) to aggregate across spectrum types, LTE Wi-Fi Aggregation (LWA) to be combined across technologies and CBRS/License Shared Access (LSA) to share spectrum with occupants. The new spectrum sharing test bed is being expanded to support Listen-Before-Talk (LBT) technology, wideband waveforms with low latency and enhancements in the radio and network protocols. Qualcomm says that “Spectrum sharing technology will not only benefit operators with licensed spectrum but will also open up scope for 5G NR utilization for those without licensed spectrum such as cable operators, enterprise or IoT verticals.”
3. Facebook’s Connectivity Lab in Record P2P mmWave Transmission of 20 Gbps over 13 km
acebook Connectivity Lab as well as Mark Zuckerberg himself announced achieving 20 Gbps over 13 km in a P2P mmWave link using the same amount of power to light a single lightbulb of 105 DC Watts. The transmission used a bandwidth of 2 GHz, resulting in an overall spectral efficiency of 9.8 bps/Hz. Soon this technology will make it into Facebook’s solar-powered planes to beam internet access to areas of the world that aren’t connected. In general, Facebook’s Connectivity Lab sees it to be applicable to a number of solutions they are working on. Ford example, it could be used as a terrestrial backhaul network to support access solutions like OpenCellular, or as a reliable backup to free space optical solutions such as the laser communications gimbal and optical detector in case of fog and clouds. Ultimately, the point-to-point mmWave link is expected to serve as the connection between a ground station and Aquila, our solar powered UAV.
The next generation air-to-ground communication system capable of supporting 40 Gbps each on uplink and downlink between an aircraft and a ground station will be flight-tested in early 2017. Facebook will continue to push the limits of wireless capacity over long ranges while staying within the tough size, weight and power requirements of Aquila communication payloads.
4. Docomo New 5G Trials in 4.5 GHz and 28 GHz
DoCoMo reports groundbreaking results from two separate trials in the 4.5 GHz and the 28 GHz frequency bands. In the 28 GHz mmWave and as part of a joint trial with Samsung, DoCoMo reports achieving a data speed of over 2.5Gbps with a mobile device traveling at 150 km/h in a train. To date, no test had achieved a successful wireless data transmission to a fast-moving device due to the large path-loss of high-frequency radio signals using mmWave frequencies. In this trial, the problem was resolved with the use of massive MIMO with beamforming and beam tracking. In a separate trial, DOCOMO and Huawei report results of an outdoor trial using the 4.5 GHz frequency band in a 100,000 square-meter field. The trial combined multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology for simultaneous multiple access and a precoding algorithm that optimizes signals for maximized performance and limits inter-user interference. It achieved a MU-MIMO transmission of a maximum 79.82 bps/hz/cell, which was reportedly 1.8 times better than in the November 2015 outdoor trial conducted in China.
5. Internet Roadmap to 5G and Beyond Out of IETF97
Network slicing, mobile edge computing, ultra-low latency, machine learning and massive IoT are among the 5G related use cases that IETF is looking to support in next generation mobile communications. A redesign and/or evolution of the internet protocol could be needed to meet the requirements of these use cases, and during its November 2016 meeting (IETF97) different threads of work and initiatives took place to discuss and prepare specifications. The most relevant are a new 5Gangip special group looking at the needs of fixed and mobile next generation 5G systems, the nmlgr group looking at applying machine learning 5G at network level, the first network slicing draft, and the introduction MEC (Mobile Edge Computing) presented by ETSI.