Verizon, Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm Technologies are working to push the limits of 5G technology. Recently, the companies reached upload speeds of 711 Mbps in a lab trial using aggregated bands of mmWave spectrum.
“Our mmWave build is a critical differentiator, even as we drive towards massive and rapid expansion of our 5G service using our newly acquired mid-band spectrum, we are doubling down on our commitment to mmWave spectrum usage,” said Adam Koeppe, Senior Vice President of Technology Planning for Verizon. “You will see us continue to expand our mmWave footprint to deliver game-changing experiences for the densest parts of our network and for unique enterprise solutions. We had over 17K mmWave cell sites at the end of last year and are on track to add 14K more in 2021, with over 30K sites on air by the end of this year, and we’ll keep building after that.”
Previous multi-gigabit speeds have been recorded on downloads before, but this is the fastest speed the companies have been able to reach while uploading data to the network. Speeds approaching those seen in this recent trial (for comparison, 700+ Mbps is the equivalent of a one GB movie uploaded in about 10 seconds) will pave the way for uploading videos, pictures and data to the cloud, social media accounts, or sharing directly with others in densely populated venues like downtown streets, concerts and football stadiums. Whether using a traditional mobile link or fixed wireless access, these speeds will also allow students working from home or employees in distributed workforces the ability to upload and synchronize massive files, complete simultaneous editing of documents in the cloud, and collaborate with colleagues effortlessly.
These breakthrough uplink speeds will also drive new private network use cases for enterprises. Faster uplink speeds can enable quality control solutions for manufacturers using artificial intelligence to identify tiny product defects in products visible only through ultra HD video feeds. Other upload-intensive solutions such as multi-location, massive security video capabilities and augmented reality-centered customer experiences will also get a boost with these increased speeds.
About the trial
The demonstration surpassed current peak upload speeds by combining 400MHz of Verizon’s 5G mmWave frequency and 20MHz of 4G frequency using the latest 5G technologies, including mmWave carrier aggregation and Single-User MIMO (SU-MIMO). Network technology used in the demo included Samsung’s 28GHz 5G Compact Macro and virtualized RAN (vRAN) and Core (vCore) along with a smartphone form-factor test device powered by the Qualcomm flagship Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System.
Snapdragon X65 is Qualcomm Technologies’ fourth generation 5G mmWave Modem-RF System for phones, mobile broadband, compute, XR, industrial IoT, 5G private networks and fixed wireless access. Commercial mobile devices based on these Modem-RF solutions are expected to launch by late 2021.
Samsung’s Compact Macro delivers 5G mmWave by bringing together a baseband, radio and antenna in a single form factor. This compact and lightweight solution can be easily installed on the sides of buildings, as well as on utility poles, for the swift build-out of 5G networks. The Compact Macro achieved first Common Criteria (CC) certification against Network Device collaborative Protection Profile (NDcPP), an internationally recognised IT security standard.
“In collaboration with Qualcomm and Verizon, we are excited to reach these ultra-fast uplink speeds, which will enable differentiated 5G experiences and deliver more immersive mobile services for all users,” said Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung looks forward to harnessing the full potential of 5G through new breakthroughs that will bring truly transformative benefits to people around the world and across the enterprise landscape.”
“Enhancing uplink speeds opens the door to new possibilities with 5G mmWave, in transit hubs, downtown areas, shopping malls and crowded venues, while also powering robust 5G fixed wireless access services in homes and small businesses,” said Durga Malladi, Senior Vice President and General Manager, 5G, mobile broadband and infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Our collaboration with Samsung and Verizon exemplifies how we are collectively driving 5G mmWave commercialisation and enabling new and exciting user experiences – every day.”
Photo – Kseniia Ilinykh / Unsplash