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It’s proving to be a 5G heavy week in the run up to Mobile World Congress.

Qualcomm on Tuesday said it’s partnering with ZTE and China Mobile to conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials of 5G connectivity at 3.5 GHz.

According to Qualcomm, the trials will utilize the 5G New Radio (NR) specs being developed by 3GPP, and are expected to offer multi-gigabit per second data rates with low latency. Device prototypes from Qualcomm and base station solutions from ZTE will be used to “simulate real-world scenarios across a broad set of 5G NR use cases and deployment scenarios,” following guidelines from China Mobile. The trial will also incorporate technologies like massive MIMO, adaptive self-contained TDD, beamforming, scalable OFDM-based waveforms for wider bandwidths, advanced coding and modulation schemes, and a “new flexible, low-latency slot structure based design.”

The companies have decided on the sub-6 GHz mid-band 3.5 GHz spectrum for the tests as the band is “critical” for widespread coverage and capacity in China.

"Trials based on the global 3GPP 5G standard, such as this, are critical to ensure timely deployment of 5G networks and continuing our long history of leadership integrating advanced wireless technologies," Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob commented.

The trials will be launched in the second half of 2017, and are expected to track alongside the first 3GPP 5G NR specification.

Keysight also recently announced plans to work with ZTE, in its case offering test and measurement of key 5G technologies.

The company said its tests will cover millimeter wave communications, New PHY, massive MIMO, and BTS beamforming prototypes. The tests, Keysight said, will help ZTE accelerate time to market for 5G products.

And of course, where would we be on 5G without antennas?

Taoglas on Wednesday unveiled a new series of 5G massive MIMO antenna arrays, which it said are designed to help operators scale quickly to meet demand.

The new series includes the Adaptrix CMM200.A, a 5-6 GHz C-Band Massive MIMO Array; the Aurora CMM100.A, a 5-6 GHz C-Band Massive MIMO Phased Array; the Pegasus CMM300.A, a 5-6 GHz C-Band 2x8 Slant Polarised Massive MIMO Panel; and the Sauron ELA100.A, a 77 GHz E-Band Lens Array Antenna. Taoglas said the Adaptrix antenna is the first of its millimeter wave antenna arrays to come with the company’s patent-pending interlocking modular system.

“This first-in-the-industry antenna system means that when you need to add capacity, you simply attach extra panels,” Dermot O’Shea, co-CEO of Taoglas, explained. “You can build them up vertically or horizontally like Lego blocks. You don’t need to worry about spacing, alignment or positioning, it’s a fool-proof system to achieving optimal installation methods.”

Naturally, Taoglas will be showcasing the new antennas at Mobile World Congress in Hall 5. Qualcomm will also be there in Hall 3 and Keysight will be in Hall 6.

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