FCC trial applications show vendors gearing up 5G prototype demos

Nokia, Ericsson, National Instruments and Cable Labs have all asked US regulator FCC for permission to demonstrate and test 5G technology and prototypes in a range of spectrum bands in upcoming weeks.

The applications show that vendors are at the stage of testing and demonstrating prototype base stations to their customers, some at current spectrum bands and other at higher bands. 

  • Nokia has an application to demonstrate “prototype (5G) communication equipment” at its premises in Sunnyvale, California, from 8 August to 23 September. Its application requested permission to operate on a 10Mhz channel over the 2.1GHz and 2.6GHz  bands. Operation will be indoors at low power levels (250MW or less).  The company said it will be demonstrating small cell products to its customers.
  • Nokia has also requested to be allowed to demonstrate its 5G prototype to “a customer” at its Bell Labs facility in New Jersey.
  • Ericsson is seeking to conduct a two day 5G demo for T-Mobile from 8-10 August, using the 14.6-15.4 GHz spectrum band. It said it wants to “operate on the government spectrum bands only because this phase of our 5G research was designed in Sweden to operate on these bands. We have no plans to request that this spectrum be repurposed for commercial use.” As Ericsson said in that submission much of its 5G prototype work to date, going back over at least the last two years,  has been in the 15 GHz range. 
  • CableLabs has requested permission to trial pre-commercial 5G equipment in order to characterise the RF environment at 71-75GHz, and to “gather performance data including operational characteristics of 5G technology from various vendors”.
  • Meanwhile National Instruments (NI) will be showing demos “of potential new 5G technologies using our software defined radios”, using the 3.5 GHz, 27-19 GHz, 60GHz and 76-77 GHz bands.