Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies have successfully completed the first over-the-air 5G New Radio (NR) call on CBRS (Citizen Broadband Radio Service) spectrum in a recent field trial. This combination of 5G NR over CBRS will enable a wide range of new applications for enterprises and industry verticals, which in turn supports the proliferation of private networks, further propelling the Industry 4.0 evolution.
CBRS, shared spectrum from 3.55 to 3.7 GHz, has been the catalyst for innovation to expand cellular usage beyond enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) in the US. Combined with the commercial rollout of Priority Access Licenses (PAL), LTE-based CBRS network deployments are rapidly gaining momentum and proliferating across thousands of sites across the country. These sites enable use cases such as Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), mobile network densification, and private cellular networks.
As the rollout of 5G NR network equipment in the CBRS band occurs, private cellular network performance will deliver improved throughput, reduced latency, enhanced reliability, and greater connection density – thereby allowing for advanced applications such as mobile robotics, connected manufacturing and facilities, augmented reality industrial applications, and much more. In addition, the coordination of CBRS and licensed spectrum, such as C-band, through carrier aggregation further delivers increased capacity to enhance the user experience.
With this first over-the-air 5G NR call, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies now deliver the power of 5G NR to CBRS shared spectrum. The field trial took place at Ericsson’s North America headquarters in Plano, Texas, utilizing the previously announced Ericsson 5G Distributed Innovation Network together with a smartphone form-factor test device powered by Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform with the Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF System. The standalone 5G network configuration with rooftop radios allowed for various real-life test scenarios, including intra- and inter-band mobility and carrier aggregation (3.55-3.7GHz TDD and C-band), as well as mobility between n48 and 5G low-band, or 4G.
Ericsson radios 4408 and AIR 6449 and the smartphone form-factor test device were used for this trial and the over-the-air environment was made possible with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) test licenses in the respective bands.