Four major cellcos – KT, NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom and Verizon – revealed plans to form a global initiative to develop 5G trial specifications that would serve as a common platform for various 5G trial activities around the world.
The 5G Open Trial Specification Alliance – announced during Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona on Monday – will be focused on technical fundamentals of 5G radio interface trial activities, with the goal of “promoting a more inclusive, open, and collaborative approach to developing 5G trial networks”. The trial specification will cover multiple spectrum bands, including bands above and below 6 GHz.
The alliance aims to provide the wireless industry with a trial spec that enables various players in the 5G ecosystem – including network vendors, chipset/device vendors, operator and test equipment vendors – to test and validate key technical components of 5G in the trial stages.
“In order to conduct 5G trial service and commercialization as well as to proliferate the 5G ecosystem as early as possible, it is important to make 5G specifications more quickly,” said Park Jin-hyo, senior VP and head of SK Telecom’s Network Technology R&D Center.
According to a statement from NTT DoCoMo, coordination is already underway, with technical trials occurring between 2016 and 2018.
DoCoMo adds that the trial spec won’t limit on-going standardization discussions and decisions in 3GPP:
“Rather its objective is to provide a common trial platform where different technology components can be trialed and evaluated in order to provide a better understanding of the value and performance of different 5G technologies. This can provide valuable input in the upcoming 3GPP discussions, by complementing simulation studies with real data from different trial deployments.”
DoCoMo says other key industry participants are expected to join the alliance in the future.