Verizon and Samsung demo 5G call with KT

Using a prototype 5G tablet from Samsung, Verizon and KT have announced completing a 5G video call between Seoul and Minneapolis.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Verizon has announced the success of a 5G video call alongside Samsung and KT using Samsung's first 5G tablet prototype, which enables multi-gigabit per second speeds.

The companies tested a live video call between Minneapolis and Seoul using a 5G test network with Samsung's 28GHz 5G access units, 5G home routers, virtualised Radio Access Units (RAN), and virtualised core network at both ends.

"Samsung has leveraged in-house technology and assets to develop the first commercial ASIC-based 5G modems and mmWave RFICs, and with these technical advancements, Samsung has been able to bring one of the smallest 5G radio base stations and 5G home routers to market," the company said.

The prototype tablet not only uses 5G networks, but is also able to complete handovers between 4G and 5G thanks to its chipset and antenna technology, Samsung said.

"By working closely with industry leaders like KT and Samsung, we are finally making 5G a reality," Verizon SVP and chief technology architect Ed Chan said.

"Seeing Samsung's 5G end-to-end solutions in action, including a working prototype 5G tablet, underscores how important our collaborative relationship has been in helping accelerate the availability of commercial 5G mobility for customers."

The trial took place in Minneapolis, where Verizon had boosted its LTE network ahead of the Super Bowl by adding 24 new cell sites and more than 200 small cell sites to increase the density of its network.

Verizon had also installed 48 percent more antennas to its distributed antenna systems (DAS) at US Bank Stadium, and deployed neutral host DAS systems at the Mall of America and Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport to boost network capacity by 900 percent and 1,000 percent, respectively.

"We installed more than 230 small cells in Minneapolis-Saint Paul and increased our network capacity by five-fold," Verizon's VP of West Network and Super Bowl network architect Brian Mecum told ZDNet.

"On top of that, we have upgraded DAS systems at other venues throughout the metro area ... small cells are important because when a million people are attending the 10 days of events leading up to the game itself, you need to add network capacity closer to where demand by smartphone-toting fans is greatest on the network."

It also deployed LTE-Advanced technologies including 4x4 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (4x4 MIMO), 256 Quadrature Amplitude Moderation (256 QAM), and three-carrier aggregation in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, adding that it would be "the first provider out of the gate" to bring actual 5G to market in the US.

Verizon had last month announced choosing Samsung to provide the routers and 5G RAN for its initial 5G rollout, which will begin in Sacramento, California, in the second half of 2018.

This followed Verizon announcing in December that Swedish networking giant Ericsson would be rolling out its 5G networks in 2018, providing pre-standardised 3GPP technology "in select markets".

After announcing an accelerated 5G launch in October, Verizon and Ericsson will begin deploying the networks in the second half of 2018 using Ericsson's 5G core network, 5G RAN, transport services, and associated solutions.

Ericsson had already been helping Verizon to upgrade its 4G LTE networks, with the two deploying Massive MIMO technology across its wireless network in Irvine, California in October.

In June, Verizon had told ZDNet that one of the "key" parts of 5G is interoperability, with the carrier working not only with Ericsson and Samsung but also with Cisco, Intel, LG, and Nokia to roll out its pre-commercial 5G trial networks across the US last year.

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