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November 17, 2017
As the 3GPP RAN #78 meeting draws nearer there is an undignified last-minute rush by the telecoms industry to out-do each other over 5G virtue-signalling.
On 18 December this year the 3GPP will host a meeting in Lisbon at which it ‘freeze’ many of the standards that will comprise 5G NR, known in 3GPP circles as Release 15 (see below). This will potentially draw a line under the rampant speculation and opportunism of recent years about what will go into the standard and what won’t, which in turn could have major commercial implication for many companies.
As a result anyone who spends a couple of quid on air interface R&D is desperately trying to demonstrate how ahead of the game they are with their research and testing. This 5G virtue-signalling is getting increasingly frantic with the likes of Intel and Ericsson publicly beating their chests, forcing operators like Vodafone and BT, as well as analysts to tell everyone to just chill out a bit.
Today it was the turn of Qualcomm, ZTE and China Mobile to collectively join the party, claiming to ‘Showcase 5G leadership with completion of the world’s first end-to-end 5G NR interoperable system based on 3GPP standard.’ Just so you can get a sense of the kind of thing, dear reader, we filter every day so you don’t have to, here are the three bullet points served up at the top of the press release.
End-to-end 5G NR system compliant with the 5G New Radio (NR) layer 1 standard framework currently being finalized by 3GPP
End-to-end 5G NR system utilizing ZTE’s 5G NR pre-commercial base station and Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G NR UE prototype, operating in the 3.5 GHz band
End-to-end 5G NR system to be demonstrated at China Mobile Global Partner Conference on November 23, 2017 as a periodical achievement from ongoing collaboration of the three parties
As we get closer to the big day each ‘world first’ is getting more niche and arcane. As you can see, end-to-end is apparently an important feature of this one and the fact that it’s a technology marketing cliché already exploited to the point of self-parody clearly hasn’t put them off. It’s using 100 MHz of 3.5 GHz spectrum and generally kicks 5G ass.
“Achieving the world’s first end-to-end 5G NR interoperable data connection is true testament to our 5G leadership, driving toward the timely launch of standard-compliant commercial networks,” said Cristiano Amon, President of QCT. “Qualcomm Technologies is committed to the continued success of China’s wireless industry and we are excited to collaborate with ZTE and China Mobile to accelerate the path to 5G in China.”
“ZTE is aiming to become one of the first suppliers of commercial 5G equipment and solutions,” said Xu Huijun, ZTE CTO. “During the course of 5G technology verification and product-based development, ZTE is actively verifying a multitude of key technologies, solutions and network models together with industry partners. The world’s first 5G NR interoperable data connection, completed by China Mobile, Qualcomm Technologies and ZTE showcases our committed effort and periodical results.”
“China Mobile is committed to promoting the unified global 5G standard with industry partners,” said Li Zhengmao, VP at China Mobile. “The achievement of end-to-end 5G NR interoperable connection testing, compliant with the 3GPP 5G NR standard, is an important milestone of 5G standard to productization and pre-commercialization from standard. China Mobile is committed to working with other industry leaders, including Qualcomm Technologies and ZTE to promote that the 5G products continue to mature and the 5G industry marches to success.”
In case you missed it they’re all committed to 5G, which is good to know. If the industry is already so frenzied about 5G with over a month to go until 3GPP RAN #78 we shudder to think what the coming weeks will be like.
As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno
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