Ericsson has used Mobile World Congress 2017 to announce a series of partnerships and initiatives aimed at facilitating network evolution towards 5G and helping operators achieve business transformation.
The vendor revealed it will work on 5G new radio (NR) trials in partnership with Qualcomm, Japan's NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone in addition to its planned trials with Australia's Telstra.
The trials with DoCoMo will operate in mid-band spectrum at 4.5-GHz as well as millimeter wave spectrum at 28-GHz, and are intended to drive the mobile ecosystem towards the rapid validation and commercialization of 5G NR technologies based on the 3GPP Release 15 standard.
The Japanese trials will commence in the first half of 2018. Qualcomm will provide device prototypes while Ericsson will supply prototype base station technologies.
Vodafone, Ericsson and Qualcomm meanwhile plan to conduct trials that make use of advanced 5G NR technologies including MIMO, adaptive self-contained TDD, beamforming and advanced coding and modulation schemes. The trials will commence in the second half of 2017.
During Ericsson's presentation, president and CEO Börje Ekholm commented that “5G will transform all industries, and our customers are already gearing up for the future by evolving their current 4G networks.
“This is the key foundation to enable the automation and business transformation needed for the Internet of Things, as well as data-hungry services like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality."
Ericsson has forecast that the addressable 5G market will balloon to $1.23 trillion by 2026, he said. “This means that industries see the value of 5G and we will be there to grasp that opportunity."