Samsung and T-Mobile collaborate on 5G trials

The two companies will conduct a series of trials across T-Mobile's 28GHz mmWave spectrum using Samsung's 5G beam-forming tech.

T-Mobile and Samsung Electronics America have announced their collaboration on a series of 5G lab tests and field trials over the next year.

The partnership will see the companies initially use T-Mobile's 28GHz mmWave spectrum in combination with Samsung's 5G proof-of-concept beam-forming technology in outdoor trials, while trials early next year will use Samsung's pre-commercial system.

"We are excited to work with Samsung to see how we can bring to life key attributes of emerging 5G technology, including extreme speed, low latency, and massive connectivity," said T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray.

"Our collaboration with Samsung's networks technology will enable us to enhance 5G development and availability."

Both T-Mobile and Samsung are involved in the US government's 5G initiative, with the Obama administration announcing in July that it would be investing $400 million in conducting trials of the technology.

The government's trials are being led by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is spending $50 million over the next five years on designing and constructing testing platforms backed by a network of software-defined radio antennas in four US cities that are yet to be chosen.

T-Mobile and Samsung are contributing to $35 million in additional funding, along with AT&T, HTC, Carlson Wireless Technologies, Verizon, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Oracle.

In addition, Samsung will be a board member on the project, and is slated to contribute specialists to work alongside 400 university researchers on network and mmWave radio technologies.

"The White House initiative provides an ideal platform for Samsung to help create a blueprint for the future of communications network development through collaboration with a diverse range of experts," Charlie Zhang, vice president of Samsung Research America, said.

"Supporting US wireless leadership and next-generation networks continues to be a priority for Samsung, and we look forward to helping expedite 5G innovation to enable more people to benefit from the next level of enhanced communications."

Samsung has been working on 5G technologies for years; back in October 2014, it announced attaining mobile speeds of 7.5Gbps during stationary 5G network trials, and 1.2Gbps while in a moving vehicle travelling at more than 100km/h.

Those tests were also conducted over the 28GHz spectrum band.

In June this year, Samsung also developed a power amplifier that doubles the power output and reduces power consumption, along with a 1mm antenna that will enable 5G devices and radio stations to be much smaller.

The Samsung-developed tech will be used by South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning for testing in the 28GHz band.

Japanese company Fujitsu is likewise working on developing technology for 5G, announcing on Tuesday that it has built a low power-consumption wireless unit prototype.

The unit incorporates what Fujitsu labels inter-subarray coding technology, making it possible to attain high-speed data transmissions of more than 10Gbps to multiple devices simultaneously while maintaining low power-consumption levels equivalent to those across Wi-Fi.

"In order to achieve 5G ultra high-speed communications, for which development is ongoing with the aim of practical implementation by about 2020, attention is centred on technology that uses the millimetre waveband and multiple antenna elements to simultaneously transmit signals as beams to each individual device," Fujitsu explained.

"High-speed communications using millimetre waves, which can make use of several gigahertz of bandwidth, may rely on mobile phone base stations and Wi-Fi access points installed at distances between a few dozen metres and a few hundred meters apart.

"This means that a large number of wireless systems are necessary, therefore reducing the power consumption of wireless systems is extremely important."

According to Fujitsu, hybrid beam forming would reduce the number of circuits and therefore power consumption, but this method has interference issues when attempting to send signals to several devices at once. Fujitsu said its new device has solved this problem.

"Fujitsu Laboratories discovered that, with an interleaved structure, which is a type of hybrid beam forming, it was possible to cancel out interference between beams that result from undesired beams being emitted," the company said.

"Fujitsu Laboratories has now developed an interleaved hybrid beam-forming prototype with inter-subarray coding in the 60GHz band, and confirmed the generation of a narrow multiplexed beam capable of ultra high-speed transmissions at 10Gbps."

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