Measurement & Instrumentation

MWC 2016 and Test & Equipment Industry: 5G is closer than you think

by Olga Yashkova 17 Feb 2016
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I expect 5G to steal the show at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC). 5G has been a topic of discussion for a while already and it is becoming more prominant with carriers such as SKTelecom and Verizon Communications, just to name a few. Meanwhile, AT&T recently announced its trial plans for 5G in 2016. The carrier is planning to conduct field trials of 5G technologies to provide wireless connectivity in fixed locations within Austin by the end of this year. Specific frequencies have not been disclosed at this point, however, they will test cmWave and mmWave spectrums, as well as 5G air interface technologies to provide enhanced mobile broadband service with throughputs above 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) and very low latency. It is also becoming clear that 5G will reveal new frequency bands in the microwave and millimeter wave ranges for commercial wireless communications.

The test & measurement industry is to play the most crucial role in 5G deployments because quality of service and, most importantly, quality of user experience have to be ensured and verified. Test Equipment vendors such as Anritsu, Rohde & Schwarz, Keysight Technologies and National Instruments (NI) among others, have made significant developments in 5G testing and are set to showcase their solutions at the MWC 2016.

NI, who is leading 5G prototype efforts, will demonstrate their latest 5G developments and will host a panel at the MWC 2016 with speakers from Nokia, Intel, Vodafone with James Kimery, Director of RF Research on February 23. In addition, there will be a number of NI partner demonstrations and prototypes on the tradeshow floor with companies such as Cobham Wireless, Intel, Nokia, Alcatel Lucent and ZTE related to 5G.

Attendees should also be aware that:

  • Anritsu is predicted to showcase its developments for test and measurement of the new 5G air interface R&D, with concrete examples including LTE-A Pro scaled-up to 1GB/s
  • Anritsu will also, reveal testing the new waveforms, mmW measurements, OTA and massive MIMO at the air interface, both the new 5G air interface, and evolution of LTE-A to the LTE-A Pro standards of 3GPP Release 14&15
  • Rohde & Schwarz announced that it will showcase its 5G developments with three different test setups
  • Keysight Technologies is expected to showcase the latest communications design and test solutions, along with its 5G wireless simulation and test solutions at the show

There is a lot going on in the 5G testing arena and this is just a small glance at the test equipment industry. Expect more announcements during the conference. As I said earlier: 5G will steal the show this year!



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