Tom Wang - stock.adobe.com

Samsung teams with comms tech leaders to set 5G speed benchmark

Samsung, Verizon, Motorola Mobility and Qualcomm deploy carrier aggregation and the latest 5G cell technology to achieve multi-gigabit speeds on a commercial smartphone connected to live 5G network

In a flurry of activity, Korean technology giant Samsung has teamed up with leading operators, device makers and chip manufacturers to set what it says are new standards in 5G throughput and offer new 5G radio access network (RAN) and baseband units.

Working with leading US comms provider Verizon, along with Motorola Mobility and Qualcomm Technologies, Samsung has been able to demonstrate in a trial 5G peak speeds of 4.2Gbps on a live 5G network. The trial, which took place using a commercial network cell site in Texas, aggregated 800MHz of 28GHz band spectrum using Samsung Network’s 5G new radio (NR) 28GHz access unit, which has been commercially deployed by Verizon.

The speed benchmark was achieved using carrier aggregation, combining multiple channels of spectrum to provide greater efficiency for data sessions transmitting over the wireless network. The four companies combined eight separate channels of mmWave spectrum to achieve the multi-gigabit speeds on Motorola’s upcoming flagship smartphone.

Eight-channel carrier aggregation using mmWave will be widely available on the Verizon 5G network in 2020. “We’re continuing to expand our 5G ultra-wideband network, built to enable unique and transformational experiences for our customers,” said Adam Koeppe, senior vice-president of technology planning at Verizon. “We are only beginning to scratch the surface of what 5G can do.”

Joe Glynn, vice-president of business development at Qualcomm Technologies, added: “5G mmWave technology is set to expand significantly this year and is poised to introduce new potential use cases for consumers and businesses through superb connectivity speeds and low latency.” 

The Qualcomm 5G RAN platform is designed to offer a foundation to deliver high data speeds, capacity and low latency for use across numerous emerging industries and applications, such as private 5G networks, indoor mmWave, industrial automation and fixed wireless access. It is intended to see use delivering connectivity in crowded environments such as stadiums and train stations. It is also expected to provide critical 5G capability in challenging indoor enterprise requirements.

Using Qualcomm’s 5G platform, Samsung believes it can provide competitive 5G in-building and outdoor hotspot solutions to meet customers’ coverage and capacity needs. These will be introduced later in 2020.

Samsung’s CDU50 Baseband Unit (BBU) is said to deliver the company’s highest capacity to date, and is designed to help carriers transition from 4G to 5G and reduce costs. Among other improvements, it is said to offer significant performance enhancement, including six times increase in capacity and nearly two times faster network throughput.

In addition to offering increased performance in comparison to the prior model, the CDU50 supports all Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and 5G NR network frequencies in one unit. The unit can support both distributed RAN (D-RAN) and centralised RAN (C-RAN) configurations. With these improvements, Samsung believes carriers can achieve increased flexibility in managing a network and meaningful cost reduction.

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