Verizon and Ericsson have announced an expansion of their 4G LTE partnership, with the Swedish networking giant to deploy its 4G and 5G-ready radio system across multiple US markets.
The baseband and dual-band radios are software upgradeable to 5G once Verizon launches its new network, with the mobile sites also able to deliver narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) and Cat-M IoT device connectivity.
"Working with Ericsson allows us to deploy the latest technologies on our 4G LTE-Advanced network. [It] will be an important component of our rapid transition to 5G," Verizon SVP of Technology, Strategy, and Planning Ed Chan said.
The announcement followed the two companies in August attaining speeds of 1.07Gbps across Verizon's commercial LTE mobile network 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.
In October, Ericsson then announced it would be deploying Massive MIMO technology across Verizon's wireless network in Irvine, California.
The carrier additionally announced in April this year that it is working with Ericsson, Nokia, Google, Qualcomm, Corning, and Federated Wireless to test LTE-Advanced technologies using Citizen Band Radio Spectrum (CBRS) frequencies.
These CBRS trials involve end-to-end system testing across 150MHz of the 3.5GHz band -- which is also being used globally for early 5G deployments -- and are being undertaken in Verizon's Irving, Texas, facility.
By combining the new spectrum with LTE-Advanced technologies in addition to carrier aggregation, Verizon said it would increase capacity and therefore throughput speeds on its mobile network.
For the trials, the carrier is utilising Ericsson's Radio 2208 outdoor micro base station, indoor B48 Radio Dot System unit 5216, and radio system comprising 4x4 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (4x4 MIMO) and 4x 20MHz carrier aggregation including the CBRS spectrum; Nokia's FlexiZone Multiband Indoor BTS, FlexiZone Multiband Outdoor BTS, and FlexiZone Controller; and Corning's SpiderCloud Enterprise RAN, comprising a Services Node and SCRN-330 Radio Nodes.
Qualcomm is providing its Snapdragon LTE modem, which enables Verizon to access LTE on CBRS using mobile devices, while Google and Federated Wireless are providing their spectrum access system (SAS) traffic prioritisation algorithms.
In terms of 5G, Verizon last year announced that it will be accelerating its 5G New Radio (NR) field trials using 28GHz and 39GHz mmWave spectrum, MIMO antenna technology, adaptive beam-forming and beam-tracking techniques, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G NR mobile modem chipset.
In June, Verizon told ZDNet that one of the "key" parts of 5G is interoperability, with the carrier working not only with Ericsson and Qualcomm but also with Cisco, Samsung, Intel, LG, and Nokia to roll out its pre-commercial 5G trial networks across the US.
Having completed an over-the-air 5G call using 3GPP standards in February, Verizon is planning to launch 5G networks starting in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Houston by the end of this year.
Pivotal Commware has announced attaining 1.3Gbps throughput speeds during a field trial of its Echo 5G Beamformer repeater designed to provide fixed-wireless in-building penetration.
The tests utilised 4x 100MHz channels of 28GHz millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum in Kirkland, Washington, with Pivotal Commware saying it reached gigabit speeds indoors from a base station 1,640 feet away through double-paned glass at a 45-degree angle.
Without using the Echo, Pivotal Commware said the 5G link did not connect indoors during the test.
Due to the high-band frequency, the company said it is necessary to use beam-forming technology to provide mobile signal indoors. The Echo product comes with what Pivotal Commware has called holographic beam forming (HBF), using software-defined antennas.
As well as solving the technical challenges of providing a strong mobile signal with high-frequency fixed-wireless 5G, Pivotal Commware said it addresses the economic challenges, with users able to self-install the Echo product on their home windows.
"By greatly improving building penetration and facilitating self-install, Pivotal's Echo 5G improves the economics of 5G fixed-wireless by allowing carriers to deliver superior service to more subscribers at less cost," Pivotal Commware CEO Brian Deutsch said.
"Holographic Beam Forming uses the lowest cost, size, weight, and power consumption envelope available."