Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, today announced an expansion of its 5G NR testing facilities in Europe to include a new lab dedicated to end-to-end over-the-air (OTA) configurations for 5G NR millimeter wave (mmWave). Located at Qualcomm Technologies’ research and development (R&D) center in Farnborough, UK, the new 5G mmWave lab and test facility will demonstrate and facilitate commercialization of 5G NR mmWave capabilities by allowing OEMs and European operators to test and fine-tune mmWave devices and network configurations.
On the heels of the new 5G R&D facility launching, Qualcomm Technologies and Sony have announced that Sony will be the first OEM to take advantage of the lab. Sony will provide pre-commercial mmWave mobile form factor devices to the facility to test the capacity, throughput, latency and reliability of mmWave in multiple deployment scenarios.
For dense urban environments, indoor venues and enterprises, mmWave brings massive capacity, multi-Gigabit peak throughput and low-latency connectivity to smartphones, laptops and more. In addition, the ability to carry higher data rates for users makes 5G perfect for deployment in high-density indoor environments such as stadia and shopping centers, often as a complementary technology for sub-6 5G deployments.
“This new facility is part of the continuous investment that Qualcomm Technologies is making in 5G research,” said Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president and president, Qualcomm Europe/MEA, QUALCOMM Europe, Inc.” Qualcomm Europe, Inc. “While the initial European industry focus is currently on sub-6 5G deployments, this facility will provide our innovative customers with the opportunity to see and test the benefits of 5G NR mmWave technology for themselves. Qualcomm Technologies, its customers and collaborators are at the heart of the 5G networks and devices now being rolled out across Europe and this is just the beginning. Utilizing all types of spectrum, including low, mid and high bands, is critical for the success of 5G. Deployments across these bands will work hand-in-hand to bring consumers exciting new user experiences.”
Sony demonstrated a 5G NR mmWave technical evaluation mobile device, based on the flagship Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 855 Mobile Platform and Snapdragon X50 5G modem and antenna modules with integrated RF transceiver, RF front-end and antenna elements at MWC in Barcelona this year.
“We are pleased to be the first OEM to supply devices for Qualcomm Technologies’ new lab, and we see this as a great opportunity for operators to come and see mmWave in action,” said Mitsuya Kishida, representative director and president, Sony Mobile Communications. “Sony believes that mmWave is the ideal technology companion for sub-6 5G deployments and we are working with operators across Europe to bring mmWave to commercial deployment.”
“Thanks to a multi-year successful collaboration last year TIM and Qualcomm Technologies completed the first 5G NR videocall using mmWave spectrum in Europe at the TIM 5G Innovation Hub in Rome,” said Elisabetta Romano, chief technology innovation officer, TIM. “We also deployed 5G mmWave coverage throughout the San Marino Republic, making it the first European nation to be fully 5G covered. In both cases we implemented the Snapdragon X50 5G modem test device. TIM has a broad and complete frequencies portfolio for full 5G evolution, including a wide range of frequencies in sub-6 GHz and, in particular, 3.7 GHz band, which is being used for 5G commercial services in big cities. mmWave is the perfect companion in developing indoor coverage for ultra-capacity and throughput, and low latency use cases such as Industry 4.0 or high-density hot spots. With the opening of Qualcomm Technologies’ new 5G mmWave lab, we will continue to work with Qualcomm Technologies to accelerate the development of a complete 5G ecosystem to boost and accelerate Italy’s digital transformation, thereby improving the user experience of our customers.”
“In June 2018, with the help from Qualcomm Technologies, we became the first Russian mobile operator to demonstrate the real-life mmWave capabilities of 5G,” said Frederic Vanoosthuyze, chief technology and IT officer, MegaFon. “The MegaFon laboratory that hosted the demonstration has been key to our plan to deploy a 5G network, and we would like to congratulate Qualcomm Technologies on its new lab, which displays its continued dedication to developing mmWave technologies in Europe.”
The lab is the latest development in Qualcomm Technologies’ commitment to making 5G a commercial reality within Europe. The end-to-end testing is based on implementations of the 3GPP 5G NR Release 15 standards. The mobile test devices are based on the Snapdragon X50 5G and X55 5G modem family and antenna modules with integrated transceiver and Qualcomm Technologies RFFE solutions. The network will later enable concepts that are expected to be supported from Release 16 and beyond based on flexible gNodeB base stations and the 5G Next-Gen Core network. With the recent launch of the Snapdragon X50 5G modem, Qualcomm Technologies has taken another leap forward to supercharge the rollout of 5G globally. Both the Snapdragon X50 and X55 5G modem are designed to provide support for mmWave and sub-6 GHz spectrum – meaning fewer hurdles for OEMs to deliver benefits of 5G – multi-gigabit speeds and low latency.
Additionally, the lab will enable Qualcomm Technologies to demonstrate 5G mmWave based low-latency and high throughput data communication, in support of OEM and Carrier customers, as a part of validation and test of 3GPP standards.
Qualcomm’s development of 5G technologies includes foundational research, groundbreaking inventions, leadership in the design of the 3GPP 5G NR standard and the early prototypes and trials. Two generations of 5G modems have since been announced, along with a comprehensive modem-to-antenna and RFFE solution. These, coupled with the development of test networks such as this, have paved the way for the commercial launches of 5G NR standard-compliant infrastructure, smartphones and other mobile devices happening now in 2019. Building on its mobile technology leadership, Qualcomm Technologies continues to push the boundaries of 5G, including key contributions to industry standards and working across a roadmap of new technologies that can expand the 5G ecosystem to new industries.