Ericsson gearing up to demo 5G at CES show

It may come as no surprise, but it looks like Ericsson plans to demonstrate 5G at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.

The company submitted an application, which is pending with the FCC, for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to conduct a 5G demo at CES, which takes place Jan. 5 to 8 in Las Vegas. A company representative declined to comment to FierceWirelessTech beyond what’s in the FCC filings, much of which seek confidential treatment.

In a Nov. 30 application, Ericsson said it is seeking permission to conduct a demo identical to what it did at the 2016 CES, the 2015 CTIA show and the Verizon 50 Forum. The demo will use an experimental 5G base station and a piece of experimental 5G mobile user equipment inside the Ericsson booth. Ericsson will be using the 14.5-15.35 GHz band because the gear it wants to use operates on that spectrum at a test bed in Plano, Texas.

It’s not clear if it will involve the exact same thing, but at CES 2016, one of Ericsson’s demonstrations allowed visitors to get a hands-on experience of controlling an excavator located in Plano, Texas, remotely from the show floor. Visitors had the chance to wear a virtual reality headset and sit at the controls of the excavator to operate it in real time. Ericsson also showed off autonomous driving and a connected water demo showing how sensors can be used to monitor water and protect watersheds, streams and rivers.

Interestingly, Ericsson is also asking for a call sign waiver, saying the experimental 5G base stations are not built to transmit a call sign—and they're willing to resort to using Morse code if they have to.

“While we have determined that we would be able to modify the base stations to transmit a call sign in simple Morse code should the Commission not grant the waiver, Ericsson requests that the requirement to transmit a call sign be waived for this demo,” the company stated. “Other parties will not have receivers that can decode the call signs because of the new types of modulations used, the operation will be indoor only as part of an industry event, and our 24-hour emergency contact can be reached should users notice any interference and need to request shutting off transmissions.”

In a separate Dec. 6 filing with the FCC, Ericsson seeks authority to conduct an LTE demo at CES that will show specific use cases within radio access network and cloud domains. The company said the commission previously granted authorization for Ericsson to conduct the same demo at the GE Minds + Machines event in San Francisco in November 2016.

For the LTE demo, the transmissions will be at very low power levels, and for that reason and its location within a trade show, Ericsson said the experiment will not interfere with existing users. It's already coordinated its usage of the frequencies with local Advanced Wireless Service licensee(s) to avoid interference.