Displaying items by tag: Qualcomm
Qualcomm Incorporated announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., has introduced two new mobile platforms, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 and 630, both designed to support a leap in performance, enabling advanced photography and enhanced gaming, in addition to long battery life and fast LTE speeds. The Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms include the Snapdragon 660 and 630 SoCs, which encompass the baseband functionalities, plus software and hardware components including RF front end, integrated Wi-Fi, power management, audio codec and speaker amplifier, all to support a comprehensive mobile solution.
“With the introduction of the Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms, we are thrilled that features such as improved image quality and fast LTE speeds will now be available in a wide array of devices without sacrificing performance or quality,” said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “This ensures that a greater number of consumers will be able to take advantage of higher quality user experiences in camera, audio and visual processing, connectivity, improved CPU and GPU performance, fast charging, security and machine learning.”
The Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms focus on seven categories of features:
- Camera: The Qualcomm Spectra 160 premium camera ISP supports improved photographic image quality for more natural skin tones, superior low light photography, as well as better power efficiency and higher throughput for dual camera smartphones. Also supported are features like smooth optical zoom, bokeh effects, dual pixel autofocus, and improved camcorder video stabilization.
- Audio/Visual Processing: The Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP featuring vector extensions (HVX) on the Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform enables high performance, power efficient processing of imaging, computer vision, and machine intelligence workloads, another first in the 600 tier. Optimized software libraries include support for TensorFlow and Halide. Both platforms also support Qualcomm All-Ways Aware technology with support for the Google Awareness API. This technology provides Qualcomm Technologies’ next generation of always-on contextual experiences and uses very low power running on the Hexagon DSP.
- Connectivity: The Snapdragon 660 and 630 both feature a Snapdragon X12 LTE Modem, paired with the new SDR660 RF transceiver, which support peak downlink data rates of 600Mbps to the 600-tier lineup of SOCs for the first time. The Snapdragon 660 supports 2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi for twice as much data throughput and 60 percent lower download power consumption as the Snapdragon 652. It also offers improved coverage, especially in homes, and offices with hard to penetrate brick and concrete walls as well as advanced features such as LTE/Wi-Fi antenna sharing, and Dual Band Simultaneous (DBS) operation. Both platforms also come with advanced RF front-end support including Qualcomm TruSignal adaptive antenna tuning with carrier aggregation, designed to dynamically optimize signal quality in varying user conditions for wide network coverage and more consistent data and voice experience. The Snapdragon 660 and 630 are the first 600-tier chipsets with envelope tracking technology, including high-power user equipment (HPUE) support, for superior power efficiency and thermal performance. Both platforms also integrate powerful location engines with better sensitivity and support for new constellations (Galileo and QZSS) for faster location fix, enhancements to support mandatory emergency service requirements, as well as smoother pedestrian navigation with up to 50 – 75 percent lower power consumption (compared to previous generation). Both platforms also feature Bluetooth 5 support, which doubles the amount of data that devices can transfer compared to the previous iteration.
- Improved CPU and GPU: The Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform is the successor to the Snapdragon 653 and features a 20 percent improvement in the Qualcomm Kryo 260 CPU and 30 percent improvement in the Qualcomm Adreno 512 GPU performance, ensuring a better gaming and multimedia experience for end users. The Snapdragon 630, which succeeds the Snapdragon 625, offers a 30 percent increase in the Adreno 508 GPU performance over its predecessor, as well as a 10 percent increase in CPU performance over its predecessor. Both platforms are designed to offer excellent battery life.
- Qualcomm Quick Charge 4: The Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms feature the latest innovations in Quick Charge technology, which supports up to 5 hours of talk time in just 5 minutes of charging and up to 50 percent battery life in just 15 minutes of charging.
- Security: Both platforms support Qualcomm Mobile Security, which provides security focused hardware-based protection, user authentication and device attestation on the mobile device.
- Machine Learning: OEMs and developers can also power immersive and engaging user experiences with machine learning on the Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms using the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine SDK. This heterogeneous software framework offers support for Caffe/Caffe2 and TensorFlow, making it easy to target and run neural networks on the Snapdragon core that matches the power and performance profile of the desired feature – CPU, GPU or DSP/HVX.
The Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms share the same modem and camera architecture, and are pin and software compatible, making it simpler and easier for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to build, test and calibrate their devices. Both platforms use a 14nm FinFET process and provide 4K video capture and playback capabilities, along with 8GB maximum memory and Vulkan API support. Additionally, the Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform supports displays up to QHD (2K) resolution, whereas the 630 supports FHD/QXGA (1080p).
Qualcomm Incorporated and Smartron India Private Limited, announced they have entered into a 3G and 4G patent license agreement. Under the terms of this agreement, Qualcomm has granted Smartron a royalty-bearing patent license to develop, manufacture and sell WCDMA, CDMA2000, and 4G LTE complete devices. With this agreement, Smartron joins the growing list of key Indian OEMs to have direct access to Qualcomm’s technology.
Smartron was founded in August 2014 with a vision to build India’s first global technology OEM and IoT brand that is ‘designed and engineered’ in India for India and the world. Smartron developed and introduced tronxTM, an AI powered IoT engine offering next generation of smart devices and delivering intelligent and seamless experiences to customers across IoT verticals.
Qualcomm and Smartron will also strategically collaborate on early technology access and advancements in RF, camera testing and tuning and other critical calibrations required for smart devices. This enables Smartron to be in the top of the technology curve, thereby offering cutting-edge experiences to its end users. It also enhances Smartron’s core competency and vision of developing innovative and world-class products across different markets.
“We are pleased to enable Smartron to create compelling products with our industry leading mobile technologies,” said John Han, senior vice president, Qualcomm Incorporated and general manager, Qualcomm Technology Licensing. “It is exciting to see inventions created by our dedicated R&D investment transform people’s lives through mobile devices created by OEMs like Smartron.”
“Qualcomm is passionate about innovation and is committed to help enable Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India vision and lay the foundation for a Digital India. We are thrilled to enable Smartron in its mission to create technologies that advance the mobile industry,” said Jim Cathey, senior vice president & president, Asia Pacific & India, Qualcomm International, Inc.
“We are excited to collaborate with a global technology leader like Qualcomm to bring new and powerful products that delight our customers. As India’s first premier technology OEM and IoT brand, we are committed to developing next generation of smart devices based on our tronX platform to deliver intelligent experiences to our customers” said Mahesh Lingareddy, Founder and Chairman, Smartron India Pvt Ltd.
US chipmaker Qualcomm has been left reeling following the decision made by an arbitration panel to award Canada’s BlackBerry a sum of $814.9m in a settlement dispute relating to royalties for certain past sales. In 2016, both companies took the decision to arbitrate the dispute which centered on Qualcomm’s agreement to cap certain royalties applied to payments made to BlackBerry under a licensing deal.
US listed shares of BlackBerry have risen to around 16% at $8.94 in heavy premarket trading, whilst Qualcomm was down around 1% at $54.81. However, the arbitration panel sided with BlackBerry and ordered Qualcomm to pay the Canadian firm $814.9m in royalties. Qualcomm has voiced their displeasure at the decision, but the payment is binding and the decision is not appealable.
Qualcomm is currently fighting a high-profile lawsuit which was field by Apple Inc. in which it has accused the organization of overcharging for chips and alleged that it refused to pay some $1billion in promised rebates. In addition to this, Qualcomm has faced strong criticism from the US government who accused the company of deliberately resorting to anticompetitive tactics in order to maintain a monopoly of the key semiconductors in mobile phones.
Despite the dispute, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said Wednesday that the companies "continue to be valued technology partners." He said BlackBerry will continue to collaborate with Qualcomm, specifically for security in the auto industry and in application-specific integrated circuits. BlackBerry said a final award including interest and reasonable attorneys' fees will be issued after a hearing on May 30. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP represented BlackBerry in the proceeding.
Qualcomm Incorporated filed its Answer and Counterclaims to the January lawsuit brought by Apple against the company in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
Qualcomm’s filing details the value of the technologies Qualcomm has invented, contributed and shared with the industry through its licensing program, as well as Apple’s failure to engage in good faith negotiations for a license to Qualcomm’s 3G and 4G standard essential patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
The filing also outlines how Apple breached agreements and mischaracterized agreements and negotiations with Qualcomm; interfered with Qualcomm’s long-standing agreements with Qualcomm licensees that manufacture iPhones and iPads for Apple; and encouraged regulatory attacks on Qualcomm’s business in various jurisdictions around the world by misrepresenting facts and making false statements.
Qualcomm further claims that Apple chose not to utilize the full performance of Qualcomm’s modem chips in its iPhone 7, misrepresented the performance disparity between iPhones using Qualcomm modems and those using competitor-supplied modems; and threatened Qualcomm in an attempt to prevent it from making any public comparisons about the superior performance of the Qualcomm-powered iPhones.
Qualcomm seeks, among other things, damages from Apple for reneging on its promises in several agreements and to enjoin Apple from further interference with Qualcomm’s agreements with the companies that manufacture iPhones and iPads for Apple.
“Qualcomm is the world leader in inventing and developing fundamental, ground-breaking mobile technologies that enable the worldwide mobile ecosystem. Today, Qualcomm's patented technologies remain the primary value driver for mobile devices,” said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm.
“The value of our inventions has been proven through hundreds of license agreements, negotiated and renegotiated over almost three decades, with virtually every significant handset maker in history, including the companies in Asia that have manufactured Apple iPhones and iPads. Over the last ten years, Apple has played a significant role in bringing the benefits of mobile technology to consumers with its popular products and services. But Apple could not have built the incredible iPhone franchise that has made it the most profitable company in the world, capturing over 90 percent of smartphone profits, without relying upon Qualcomm's fundamental cellular technologies.”
“Now, after a decade of historic growth, Apple refuses to acknowledge the well established and continuing value of those technologies. It has launched a global attack on Qualcomm and is attempting to use its enormous market power to coerce unfair and unreasonable license terms from Qualcomm. We intend to vigorously defend our business model, and pursue our right to protect and receive fair value for our technological contributions to the industry,” Rosenberg said.
Qualcomm fired back at Apple after it sued the company on 20 January this year, over allegations of monopoly abuse. Some analysts suspected Apple was taking advantage of the monopoly abuse lawsuit filed against Qualcomm by the US Federal Trade Commission, to pave the way for other mobile chipset makers, in order to forge more deals. Analyst Patrick Moorhead said he believed Apple was “not comfortable in feeling that they have only one [chipset] source and are taking this opportunity to go after Qualcomm.”
Apple claimed Qualcomm owes it a billion dollars and said the company is refusing to pay since Apple cooperated with South Korean antitrust regulators looking into antitrust claims against Qualcomm in the country. However, the iPhone maker was accused of hypocrisy since the company is facing its own monopoly abuse accusations regarding its App Store.
A lawsuit filed against Apple, Inc. in 2011, seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for monopoly abuse regarding Apple’s App Store, was revived earlier this year. A US appeals court received the civil suit on January 12. Apple has been accused of creating a monopoly by making its App Store the only place to purchase iPhone applications.
Qualcomm rejected Apple’s monopoly abuse claims in January as baseless, and insisted the iPhone maker “intentionally mischaracterized” agreements between the two companies as well as the value of Qualcomm’s technologies.
Some analysts suspect Apple is trying to pave the way for other rival chipset makers to flourish, by taking advantage of the monopoly abuse claims being made against Qualcomm. Apple relies on Qualcomm for chip-based modems that enable iPhones and iPads to communicate with telecommunication networks. By playing into the antitrust claims against Qualcomm, Apple could forge better deals with its competitors.
Recently, MTN South Africa, Qualcomm Technologies and Huawei jointly completed a 4x4 MIMO field trial in a live network, where the average download throughput increased by 74 percent compared to traditional LTE 2x2 MIMO. Based on that excellent performance of the technology, MTN plans to rollout South Africa's largest 4x4 MIMO network in 2017 to provide users with the best 4.5G experience.
MTN South Africa began to roll out their LTE network in 2012. Average growth rate of mobile data traffic in the whole network reaches 79 percent. The growing demand for data service needs more capacity to allow for enhanced user experiences. MIMO technology allows operators to significantly improve network capacity and user experience, and coverage without adding spectrum or adding new sites.
Compared with traditional 2x2 MIMO, the field trial demonstrated that the average download throughput of 4 receiver terminal (4x4 MIMO) increased by 74 percent and 2 receiver terminal (4x2 MIMO) increased by 26 percent, which showed deploying higher-order MIMO that can alleviate network traffic congestions.
“MTN has been committed to providing users with the richest communications life, so that our users can enjoy more movies, music and football in real-time through mobile networks,” said Giovanni Chiarelli, CTIO of MTN South Africa. “As a result, we continue to improve our network experience by introducing advanced technical solutions. MTN is confident in MIMO technology. We plan to roll out the largest 4x4 MIMO 4.5G network in South Africa, and introduce the latest 4x4 MIMO terminal to allow users to enjoy the best 4.5G experience in 2017.”
“We are very pleased to be able to participate in this field trial and provide mobile test devices based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 mobile processor with X12 LTE,” said James Munn, vice president, business development, Qualcomm International, Inc., South Africa. “The results are very positive, 4T4R has significant gains both on downlink capacity and uplink coverage. We encourage the rollout of 4x4 MIMO across the network and maximizing 4x4 MIMO capable device penetration to realize more gains.”
Steven Wu, CEO of South Africa Huawei Tech. Investment, said: “Huawei has delivered more than 30 4T4R networks globally. We found both 4x4 MIMO and 4x2 MIMO has outstanding performances in this field trial. At Mobile World Congress 2017, a variety of 4 receiver terminals have gone to market. Meanwhile, 4T4R has been the benchmark of 4.5G network. We believe Huawei’s advanced multi-antenna technology can play an important role in MTN South Africa’s network.”
At a launch event in New Delhi, Qualcomm Technologies introduced its Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform, designed to bring 4G LTE connectivity and 4G services to entry-level feature phones.
The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform includes the Qualcomm 205 SoC, which encompasses the baseband functionalities, plus hardware components including RF front end, discrete Wi-Fi, power management, audio codec, speaker amplifier, and software, all to enable a comprehensive mobile solution.
The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform is designed for OEMs and ODMs that service consumers who may otherwise be unable to gain access to high quality, affordable, reliable mobile devices. This includes emerging regions, such as those in India, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.
As operators around the world redefine subscription plans to take greater advantage of robust LTE network rollouts, devices with the Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform are designed to support consumers, micro-enterprises, and others, to economically communicate using advanced LTE data services such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi).
Bringing 4G and other advanced connectivity features to emerging regions can have a profound effect on those served. From a business point of view, small enterprises, that make up a large percentage of the economy in regions such as India and Southeast Asia, will have more reliable, faster and more secure access to process financial transactions.
Multiple days of battery life means reduced need to charge, important for those who may not always have access to a reliable power source. Faster download speeds allow for on-demand content including music and videos.
“Qualcomm Technologies is committed to the migration of users and networks from 2G, 2.5G, and 3G to 4G,” said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Feature phones are a lifeline in many emerging countries and the Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform allows us to bring 4G connectivity and services to the masses with devices at price points never seen before.”
The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform is available today with devices expected to reach consumers in Q2 2017.
Qualcomm Technologies and LG Electronics announced coordinated efforts to facilitate testing and adoption of 5G and Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) communications into vehicles. Qualcomm Technologies and LG expect to showcase these next-generation wireless technologies through trials during the first half of 2018. This work builds on the long-established relationship between Qualcomm Technologies and LG since the two companies delivered their first telematics system in 2004.
On the path to 5G, LG is developing advanced automotive connectivity solutions based on Qualcomm Technologies' connected car platform, which features support for Gigabit LTE speeds using the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, and is complemented by the QCA65x4 Wi-Fi 802.11ac solution. The connected car platform also supports 802.11p/DSRC and C-V2X, based upon 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 14 specifications.
"The advanced wireless capabilities of 5G and C-V2X will usher in new use cases necessary to fulfil our vision for increasingly connected and autonomous vehicles," said Kim Jin-yong, executive vice president, VC Smart Business Unit, LG Electronics. "As a leading inventor of 5G technologies and our key modem provider for telematics, Qualcomm Technologies is the company of choice for bringing the next-generation wireless solutions that leading automakers need and expect."
With a strong evolution path to 5G, C-V2X technology is a key feature for safety conscious and autonomous driving solutions. C-V2X complements other Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensors, such as cameras, radar and LIDAR, to provide information about the vehicle's surroundings, even in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) scenarios.
In addition to allowing for 360 degree NLOS, C-V2X is also designed to allow for enhanced situational awareness by detecting and exchanging information using direct communications in the 5.9GHz ITS band with other vehicles, infrastructure and pedestrians' devices, as well as network-based communications to cloud services using commercial cellular bands.
Compared to current technologies, C-V2X is designed to deliver enhanced V2X direct communication range, reliability, latency and superior NLOS performance. The technology is supported by a broad ecosystem based on 3GPP Release 14 specifications, with trials expected to begin later this year.
"Wireless communications provide the vehicle with data that truly complements what other sensors deliver. For instance, C-V2X and its evolution to 5G can help the car discover what is around corners, detecting a pedestrian's smartphone or a car approaching an intersection even when the object is obstructed by buildings or other large vehicles," said Patrick Little, senior vice president and general manager, automotive, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
"Building on our successful collaboration on telematics and infotainment systems, which have resulted in more than 25 million cumulative units shipped to date for carmakers throughout all key automotive regions, we are pleased to expand our relationship with LG in ushering in both C-V2X and 5G technologies in future vehicles."
C-V2X evolution to 5G offers more wireless communication capabilities for autonomous vehicles, supporting advanced use cases such as high-throughput sensor data/map sharing among vehicles, see-through capabilities streaming camera information from one car to another, and wideband ranging for improved positioning - all while maintaining backward compatibility with 3GPP Rel. 14 C-V2X.
With the ability to support multi-Gigabit speeds, mission-critical services with ultra-reliable low latency communication and massive number of nodes, 5G will support a unified connectivity platform to the always connected, autonomous vehicle of the future.
Huawei, Vodafone and Qualcomm Technologies, have worked together on a project in Turkey to create the world's first network ready to use Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) technology, based on the 3GPP R13 standard.
The introduction of LAA on mobile networks will help improve the user experience of consumers by enabling faster download speeds. That will help consumers to enjoy a more immersive experience when using virtual reality or augmented reality apps, for example.
The LAA-ready network was tested using a Huawei Lampsite base station in Vodafone Turkey’s Arena Store in Istanbul. It uses 40MHz of unlicensed spectrum in 5GHz and 15MHz licensed spectrum in 2.6GHz for three carrier aggregation. The on-site peak download speed of 370Mbps was achieved using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with X16 LTE mobile test device.
The on-site test also showed that the spectral efficiency of LAA is higher than Wi-Fi when using the same 40MHz of spectrum.
The test also showed that an LAA network can fairly coexist with Wi-Fi technology by supporting the 3GPP R13 standard for ’listen before talk’ technology. 3GPP's LAA standard was finalized in March 2016. The current series of Huawei small cell products can fully support LAA. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with X16 LTE is in production now and supports LAA technology. Consumers can expect smartphones with support for LAA this year.
Santiago Tenorio, Head of Networks for Vodafone Group said: “LAA technology will help Vodafone to improve the experience our customers have. The LAA network fully reuses the existing core network, network management system and accounting system we use for 4G, and so will effectively improve our return on investment.”
"For the spectrum, the industry has two main demands. The most important one is to promote continuous innovation in the industrial chain to enhance the overall efficiency of spectrum utilization, and to provide better experience of connectivity," Ryan Ding, president of Huawei products and solutions, said. "Faced with the large amount of unlicensed spectrum resources which are not fully used, Huawei and industry partners are using LAA technology to extend the LTE system to unlicensed band, which can help operators to improve the resources efficiency of unlicensed spectrum, and to improve network capacity of hotspot, and to ease the shortage of spectrum resources.”
“We are very pleased to deliver the first commercial LAA deployment on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with X16 LTE mobile test device. Use of unlicensed spectrum will become an increasingly important part of technology strategy as we move towards Gigabit LTE and 5G and we have shown that LAA can deliver on those promises today,” said Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president and president, Qualcomm EMEA.
The use of mobile data has skyrocketed over the past five years. Research suggests that data usage in 2015 increased 74 percent, putting the overall figure at around 3.7 exabytes per month. Behind this growth is the explosion of streaming services, including audio and video, as well as the growing use of apps - all served by the expectation of having high-speed data at all times . 4G is the current global standard in developed markets for mobile broadband, but 5G, which will provide faster speeds and more capacity, is just around the corner, according to analysts.
A study led by chipset giant Qualcomm claims that by 2035, 5G's "full economic benefit should be realized across the globe," and could produce up to $13.3 trillion worth of goods and services. Overall, 5th Generation (5G) mobile networks are expected to handle much more data volume, connect many more devices, and significantly reduce latency, which will eventually bring new levels of reliability to users.
Qualcomm's study indicates that the 5G value chain itself is seen as generating up to $3.5 trillion in revenue in 2035 and could support 22 million jobs. The study further claims that, over time, 5G will boost real global GDP growth by $3 trillion dollars cumulatively from 2020 to 2035, roughly the equivalent of adding an economy the size of India. Tell this to the next person who asks you why 5G is such a big deal…
A report by the National Infrastructure Commission defines 5G as "seamless connectivity". 5G will be, "Ultra-fast, ultra-reliable," and have "ultra-high capacity transmitting at super low latency," says the report. "It will support the ever larger data requirements of the existing network and new applications from augmented reality to connected vehicles and the Internet of Things, and many more, as unknowable today as the 4G services we take for granted would have been a decade ago."
There are plenty of reasons to look forward to 5G deployment, but the question is: when can we expect to use it? In a 2016 post by analyst Mike Roberts, Practice Leader covering carrier strategy and technology at global technology research and advisory firm Ovum, he says it's likely that 5G commercial services will launch in 2020 and says there will be 24 million 5G subscriptions worldwide at the end of 2021 for fixed mobile and fixed broadband services.
Roberts says North America and Asia will each account for more than 40% of global 5G subscriptions at the end of 2021, which will be followed by Europe with more than 10 percent of subscriptions, and then the Middle East and Africa accounting for the rest.
Ovum estimates that 5G services will be available in over 20 markets worldwide by the end of 2021, with services in all four major world regions. However, the report indicates that the vast majority of 5G subscriptions will be concentrated in the US, Japan, China, and South Korea, where major operators have revealed aggressive timelines for launching 5G services.
Commercial 5G: A global race
US telecoms giant AT&T recently announced the cities where it will initiate its first 5G rollout campaigns. It will launch 5G in the US cities of Austin, Texas and Indianapolis, Indiana. The company has dubbed the high-speed network plans the ‘5G Evolution' and has indicated that it will we be able to provide staggering top speeds of up to 400Mbps - which, to put that into context, is around forty times faster than a standard cellular data connection.
Network upgrades could enable peak speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second in some areas this year, according to AT&T. The initial rollout is part of a much larger project initiative by the US's second-largest wireless carrier. Network 3.0 - or Indigo - is set to use software advancements to improve the performance of hardware; bringing upgrade costs down and speeds up without being required to make significant network infrastructure investments moving forward.
AT&T is racing against its top rival, Verizon, to deploy the first commercial 5G in the US. It was recently reported that Verizon is in the midst of launching ten 5G market trials across the country in both dense urban and suburban areas beyond its local exchange carrier footprint. Verizon CFO, Matt Ellis, said during a call with investors that Verizon's goal is to test 5G services in varying neighborhoods as it prepares for commercial launch.
Verizon released its own 5G specifications to vendors last summer, which it said was intended to assist vendors to develop interoperable 5G equipment for pre-standard testing and fabrication. The company has been trailing what it calls "wireless fiber".
Because 5G requires a strong fiber or microwave wireless component for backhaul traffic, Ellis noted that Verizon is excited about its acquisition of XO Communications, which it announced in February 2016. The strategy behind the deal is for Verizon to expand its metro and on-net fiber network using XO's fiber assets as well as lease XO's millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum holdings with an option to buy those leases in 2018, according to reports.
Meanwhile, in the highly developed nation of South Korea, the government recently announced plans to expand the bandwidth allocated to 5G mobile services by next year, when the country will host the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning will share bandwidth in the 1.3GHz range between the country's three mobile carriers, Korea Telecom (KT), SK Telecom and LG Uplus. South Korean ministry official Choi Young-hae said the ministry is forming a team to "work on allocating 5G bandwidth and come up with a detailed plan."
According to a report by South Korean news agency Yonhap, the plan was finalized during a government meeting presided over by minister Yoo Il-ho. The ministry did not specify how much bandwidth would be allocated for 5G applications in the 1.3GHz band. Spectrum in the 1.3GHz range does not appear to have been used for mobile telephony in the past - most services use 900MHz and below, and 1.7GHz and up. GPS satellites use 1.38105GHz.
The ministry said it had been in talks with South Korea's mobile carriers, as well as technology firms, including Samsung and LG, to draw up the plan aimed at taking the lead in 5G network technologies.
In China, the leading telecoms operator China Mobile, said in December last year that it will begin major trials for 5G in 2018, kicking off a new round of billions of dollars in new investment to usher in the high-speed communications era of the Internet of Things (IoT). The company said it will test the technology for about two years, with the target date of 2020 set for launching 5G commercial services, according to CEO Li Yue.
In the past, China has rolled out its newest generation of mobile networks about two to three years after its Western counterparts. Li said at an event discussing the rollout of 5G that the technology will "change the parameters for development in many industries."
Li added that the high-speed technology is optimized for IoT, a concept in which humans and smart devices use the internet to communicate with one another to perform tasks like switching on devices remotely. He also said the response time after inputting information is just 1 millisecond for 5G, compared with 20 milliseconds for current 4G networks and 100 to 150 milliseconds for 3G.
Working towards standardization
There are a number of operators that have announced plans to launch 5G services before 2020. However, these will not typically be based on networks and devices complying with 5G standards, and so are excluded from Ovum's forecasts, Mike Roberts' report says.
Ovum defines a 5G subscription as "an active connection to a 5G network via a 5G device". 5G is further defined as a system based on and complying with 3GPP 5G standards, beginning with parts of 3GPP Release 15 (the first set of 5G standards) which is scheduled to be finalized in 2018, ahead of early rollouts in 2020. But as of now, there's no single definition for 5G. This leads to a potential problem for both business and users.
"The main use case for 5G through 2021 will be enhanced mobile broadband services, although fixed broadband services will also be supported, especially in the US," says Roberts. "Over time 5G will support a host of use cases including Internet of Things and mission-critical communications, but Ovum does not believe those use cases will be supported by standardized 5G services through 2021."
In an effort to overcome these 5G issues - which mainly consist of incompatible hardware - various parties such as handset manufacturers, operators, vendors, and the 3GPP, are working together to make sure the arrival of 5G is seamless.
In addition, Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm announced in September last year the formation of the "5G Automotive Association" (5GAA) with the goal of addressing the issues around connected mobility and road safety in the IoT era.
Vodafone was the first to join the association - a move that showed how the company is stepping up activities in developing connected cars, following its announcement that it had begun testing LTE-V2X, a new technology for vehicle-to-vehicle communications.
Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone's head of R&D and technology strategy, who will join the 5GAA board, said the communication between vehicles, infrastructure and pedestrians using C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything) "will be fundamental to the creation of intelligent transport systems."
China's ZTE Corporation was the latest company to join the association in January. Other members include China Telecom, NTT DoCoMo, Ford, Gemalto, LG, SK Telecom, T-Mobile and Verizon.
The main activities of the association include defining and harmonizing use cases, technical requirements and implementation strategies; supporting standardization and regulatory bodies, certification and approval processes; addressing vehicle-to-everything technology requirements, such as wireless connectivity, security, privacy, authentication and distributed cloud architectures; and running joint innovation and development projects.
Nokia, Alphabet's Access Group and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. joined forces to demonstrate the first live demo of a private LTE network over CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) shared spectrum at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The companies built a virtual reality zone inside stock race cars operating at the Richard Petty Driving Experience, with 360° video streaming to provide an "in car" experience in real time.
The demonstration, which achieved speeds in excess of 180 mph, showed not only how the combination of a new CBRS band and innovative technologies can offer new audience experiences, but also how shared spectrum can be used by venues and enterprises to deploy their own private LTE network to offer new services.
Deployment of a private LTE network is becoming a reality due to the availability of the CBRS spectrum (without the auction costs) and advances in network technology that are providing the performance benefits of LTE with an easy deployment model.
The live demonstration successfully highlighted some of the key performance benefits of using LTE, including consistent high data rates to stream 360° video for immersive experiences, superior mobility at extreme race car speeds, exceptional outdoor coverage, and capacity that can be customized to meet the needs of the particular service.
In this case, the 360° video was streaming from within the high-speed vehicles. The demonstrations also showcased that, thanks to the availability of CBRS shared spectrum, an enterprise, campus, venue or other group can deploy their own private LTE network.
The shared spectrum used in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway demo is the new CBRS spectrum released in the U.S. by the Federal Communications Commission. This spectrum allows for broad innovation in wireless business models.
Nokia, Alphabet's Access Group and Qualcomm Technologies are founding members of the CBRS Alliance, which is promoting LTE-based solutions in the CBRS spectrum. The three companies are committed to driving technology forward to allow for ubiquitous deployment of LTE networks within the CBRS band.
The collaboration of Nokia, Alphabet's Access Group and Qualcomm Technologies brought together industry-leading expertise and technology innovations to create the foundation for a cutting-edge demonstration - revolutionizing the audience experience and showing first-hand the performance benefits of a private LTE network.
Powered by its TD-LTE radio innovation and experience of LTE networks for high density venues and high speed race events, the Nokia CBRS private LTE high performance network used CBRS base stations to cover the complete track and spectator area.
CBRS spectrum for the base stations was provisioned by the Access SAS (Spectrum Access System), and the 360° virtual reality video was streamed in real time using YouTube Live Events. This was the first SAS demonstration in support of a live event.
The network was customized to provide: high uplink data rate on the race track and high downlink data rate in the spectator area; very low latency between car and network; and seamless mobility. Such a set up allows the continuous streaming of real time 4K 360° virtual reality video between the spectators and the cars - in this demonstration driving in excess of 180 mph. The in-car connectivity for the trial was enabled by a Qualcomm Snapdragon(TM) LTE modem.