Pushing the boundaries of 5G development

With 5G becoming ever-closer to reality, operators are now looking to deploy validation equipment to develop their networks in preparation for 5G. Back in February we unveiled the industry first software-defined 5G UE simulator that reaches 10 Gbps. Demoed for the first time at MWC, this solution is based on Verizon’s open 5G standard and enables the development of a virtualisable test solution. Virtualising validation solutions provides operators with the flexibility to test technology while sharing hardware, software and licenses via the cloud. The scalable, agile nature of these solutions will help operators identify cost savings through reduced investment in physical architecture, while increasing test times, efficiency and coverage. The UE simulator can also support multiple simultaneous 5G air interfaces which are compatible with various wireless standards, including 3GPP’s 5G New Radio (5GNR). This means that the UE simulator can support current and future cellular standards, as the technology develops.

Another exciting development shown at MWC was our IoT Proof of Concept solution. With the ability to emulate up to 1 million IoT devices, it enables the validation of network performance in preparation for IoT connectivity. Future networks will need to be robust enough to support the huge increase in 5G IoT devices, this IoT solution can demonstrate how service providers will be able to support the scale, density and complexity of 5G’s massive IoT test requirements.

As 5G is not yet fully realised, Cobham Wireless continues to work with various 5G research organisations to push boundaries in its development. It is vital to improve the throughput and capacity across a network to ensure it can cope with the strain of data-intensive mobile services required both now and in the future. In a joint venture with China Mobile, Cobham Wireless has trialled an LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) Dual Connectivity system for 4G and 5G networks, utilising radio resources from multiple mobile cells simultaneously. As the industry transitions to 5G, some of the 4G LTE cells can be replaced with 5G cells using the dual connectivity set-up. Operators and users stand to benefit from this, taking advantage of both 4G and 5G resources. This will also remove the need for operators to deploy a full 5G network and replace all 4G base stations immediately. Instead network infrastructure can be upgraded gradually and cost effectively, in line with the progression of 5G technologies and standards. The new system can improve the end-user experience by combining data from more than one base station operating on multi-connectivity modes. This will support the demand for data-intensive mobile services and ultra-high capacity, low-latency data delivery.

Cobham Wireless continues to roll-out first to market systems to ease the current strain on our networks, as well as being 5G-ready for the future.

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 RA Rachel Lloyd Marketing Communications Manager, Cobham Wireless

Rachel has over 15 years experience in Marketing Communications within the Telecommunication industry.

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