Networking giant Ericsson has announced attaining speeds of 1.07Gbps across Verizon's commercial LTE mobile network in the United States in partnership with Qualcomm.
During Ericsson's lab trial, the three companies used commercial silicon and network infrastructure, along with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem, which supports Category 18 LTE speeds; a mobile test device equipped with support for the modem; and Ericsson's Radio System and LTE software.
According to Ericsson, the trial involved using three 20MHz carriers of frequency-division duplex (FDD) spectrum, 12 simultaneous LTE streams, 4x4 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (4x4 MIMO), and 256 Quadrature Amplitude Moderation (256 QAM) per carrier.
"Ericsson is working across the industry to improve the end-user experience and to develop new functionalities and advancements with greater spectral efficiency on LTE," Ericsson head of business for Area Networks Fredrik Jejdling said.
"Achieving 1.07Gbps with Verizon and Qualcomm Technologies on a commercial chipset is a big milestone on the road to 5G."
Verizon in May won the bidding war for Straight Path Communications, paying $3.1 billion for its portfolio of 735 mmWave licences in the 39GHz band and 133 licences in the 28GHz band, and earlier this month acquired a fibre network in Chicago for $225 million.
These assets will all be used in Verizon's progress towards 5G, it said, with the Chicago network including 500 macro-cell wireless sites and 500 small cell wireless sites that are already connected to Verizon's wireless macro towers and small cells.
The operator is currently rolling out 11 pre-commercial 5G trial networks with Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia, and Qualcomm, saying interoperability is "key" to 5G.
Verizon's first trial 5G network was deployed in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in May, with the other 5G networks -- in Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida; Sacramento, California; Seattle, Washington; Washington DC; Bernardsville, New Jersey; Brockton, Massachusetts; and Denver, Colorado -- to be deployed before the end of 2017.
Ericsson earlier this month also announced its Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology, which will enable mobile operators to use the unlicensed spectrum needed to run gigabit-speed LTE networks.
"Gigabit LTE requires spectrum, more than what most operators have licensed access to," Ericsson said.
"LAA allows operators to use unlicensed spectrum (in a fair and regulated manner) in combination with their licensed spectrum. By doing this, subscribers experience even more capacity and faster speeds while operators make efficient use of unlicensed spectrum resources."
Ericsson and Qualcomm at the start of this year launched the world's first 1Gbps commercial network with Australian carrier Telstra using 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO, and carrier aggregation across spectrum bands.
Ericsson also achieved 1Gbps 4G with Singtel in January using 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO, and triple carrier aggregation, also trialling LAA across Singapore in July last year.