Already, several smartphone manufacturers boasted of photos that showed prototypes of smartphones connected to the 5G NR network. However, these tests were carried out in the laboratory using a 5G network emulator. However, the American operator Verizon boasted a working 5G base station, which was connected to a real backbone network and allowed the use of the Internet using a smartphone prepared by Qualcomm.
Qualcomm is known primarily for the production of mobile systems. However, before the new platform will be implemented by smartphone manufacturers, the companies cooperating with Qualcomm have the opportunity to test it using a device that resembles a prototype of a mobile device. Thanks to this, all interested parties are sure that smartphones equipped with Qualcomm modems will work properly in the operators’ networks. Therefore, Qualcomm cooperates with base station manufacturers and operators who are the first to introduce new solutions to their networks. The result of such cooperation is the first connection realized with the help of 5G network consisting of commercial elements.
Qualcomm, Ericsson and Verizon show that 5G is slowly becoming a reality
New technology comes out of the labs slowly. Even if someone has already demonstrated the possibilities of new technology, he did it with some simplifications. In most cases, we had to deal with real 5G base stations that were connected to laboratory networks, and the client device (the equivalent of our smartphone or home router) was the size of a small refrigerator. However, we already have these times behind. Below you can look at Qualcomm’s “smartphone” which is connected to a real 5G network built from the base station and core elements of Ericsson.
Let’s get to the details now. The test was conducted in real conditions (i.e. outside the laboratory) in the 39 GHz band. The base station was configured in the dual-connectivity mode, option 3X. This means that the smartphone was within the range of two base stations: 4G LTE and 5G NR. While the older technology is used to send signalling data, 5G is used only for fast data transfer of the user. The 3X option assumes the possibility of redirecting selected data (e.g. VoLTE voice calls) from the 5G base station to the LTE transmitter, which has a much better range. Thanks to this, the operator can better use the capacity of the new backbone network, which will be built with the new technology in mind.