July 12, 2016
US telco Verizon has announced it is the first US operator to complete 5G radio specifications, despite the first official standard being two years away.
Credit for the achievement is being given to Verizon’s 5G Technology Forum, ‘a group that is working to define parameters for 5G specifications in advance of future standards.’ The distinction between specification and standard it crucial here, with these specifications simply designed to ‘provide guidelines to test and validate crucial 5G technical components.’ To help the broader 5G effort Verizon has published the specifications here.
“The completion of the 5G radio specification is a key milestone toward the development of a complete 5G specification,” said Adam Koeppe, Vice President Network Technology Planning, who is leading the 5G trial efforts. “The level of collaboration that we are seeing exceeds what we saw during 4G. This agile way of developing the specification and working with the ecosystem will enable us to get to market rapidly.”
In addition Verizon offered an update on its pre-commercial 5G trials in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Texas, for which the stated aim is to help the industry ‘deliver benefits of fibre functionality wirelessly to customers,’ which presumably means higher data transfer speeds. Verizon has been testing the usual pre-5G technologies such as massive MIMO, advanced carrier aggregation, etc. There’s also been work on improving the propagation characteristics of millimetre waves.
Lastly Verizon wanted to flag up the work it has been doing with KT (Korea Telecom) on a harmonised 5G specification. The two companies are collaborating over 5G, NFV/SDN and GiGA technologies, having signed the apparently obligatory MoU at the end of June.