Ericsson has taken a leap forward in building high-capacity, low-latency 5G networks by demonstrating a live C Band network in the United States with 16-layer downlink Multi-user MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology, delivering enhanced spectral efficiency, at its North American headquarters in Plano, Texas.
Ericsson, with commercial equipment, successfully deployed the industry’s first 16-layer Multi-user MIMO 256 QAM with 8 UEs over 100 MHz on C Band in the US, reaching a new performance benchmark with 5.4 Gbps peak cell capacity. This capability complements Ericsson’s already diverse 5G portfolio and 5G innovations. Kevin Zvokel, Head of Networks of Ericsson North America feels exceeding 5 Gbps on C Band spectrum sets high expectations for mid-band 5G deployments in the US. The company is prepared to help the customers deploy 5G infrastructure now with superior performance and coverage to deliver the full potential of 5G.
The C Band campus network utilizes a test license C Band Special Temporary Authorization (STA) from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and consists of 64T64R AAS radio, baseband, Router 6000 and core network equipment from Ericsson, and is part of the 5G Distributed Innovation Network at Ericsson’s Plano, Texas, facility.
C Band is the much-anticipated mid-band spectrum, consisting of 500 MHz between 3.7- 4.2 GHz, that is of critical importance to 5G deployment, especially in the US. Mid-band spectrum blends extended coverage with increased capacity and will help empower exciting 5G use cases, like connected factories, smart cities, and virtual reality gaming. It is also the major spectrum used to date by most countries in the world. Therefore, an upcoming C Band auction at the end of 2020 for 280 MHz is highly anticipated.
The test setup can be seen in the video below. There were also additional performance tests conducted by the Signals Research Group, and an analysis of the results has been published in the research consultancy’s recent report, Signals Flash! “Sweet Sixteen”.
Michael Thelander, President of Signals Research Group commented that the throughput demonstrated by the Ericsson demo network establishes a new benchmark for network performance and showcases the benefits that will be available to the market when mid-band networks are available. 5G in mid-band networks in the US will be a fantastic boon to enterprise and consumers. It is crucial that US operators have access to reliable radio technology to deploy these networks.