Ericsson boasts 1.5 Gbps in C-band demo

Ericsson is already boasting about its work using C-band spectrum, one day before the FCC’s auction of the spectrum starts.

The vendor announced that it set a record for peak data rate on a single user device using C-band spectrum, exceeding 1.5 Gbps. According to Ericsson, the milestone leveraged advanced Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology with 5G.

To reach the peak throughput, Ericsson explained that it optimized its MIMO algorithm using advanced reciprocity-based beamforming technology, forming four separate optimal beams from its base station toward the single user while minimizing the interferences between the beams.

It all happened at Ericsson’s North American headquarters in Plano, Texas, where the live C-band network uses a 64T64R AAS radio at the rooftop of its office building, supported by a 5G core network.

“We are excited to continue to push the envelope of what is possible with 5G,” said Paul Challoner, vice president of Network Product Solutions for Ericsson North America, in a statement. “Ericsson is committed to continue bringing the best technology to realize the full potential of 5G early to the market to further catalyze" the use of these technologies.

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Michael Thelander, president of Signals Research Group (SRG), was on site for the demonstration and for some subsequent testing that SRG did in the Plano network. SRG is a consulting practice that focuses on performance benchmarking of emerging wireless technologies.

“Consumers will definitely benefit from the forthcoming advancements in MIMO technology that Ericsson is introducing with mid-band 5G NR,” Thelander said in a statement. “In addition to achieving higher peak speeds, consumers will benefit from the greater resiliency of SRS-based MIMO, meaning higher data speeds across a much larger portion of the network.”

The FCC on Tuesday kicks off its auction of 280 megahertz in the C-band (3.7-3.98 GHz), offering 5,684 new flexible-use overlay licenses based on Partial Economic Areas (PEAs). The process requires moving existing satellite operators out of the lower portion of the band and into the upper part, or 4.0-4.2 GHz.

Ericsson back in September announced it had taken a leap forward in building high-capacity, low-latency 5G networks by demonstrating a live C-band network in the U.S. with 16-layer downlink Multi-user MIMO technology. That demo used commercial equipment over 100 MHz of C-band, reaching a performance benchmark of 5.4 Gbps peak cell capacity.

Interference mitigation

Ericsson’s C-band campus network relies on a Special Temporary Authorization (STA) from the FCC. Pending before the commission is another application to continue C-band tests into 2021.

The C-band spectrum will be made available to licensees in phases and the challenge with Phase 1 is that fixed satellite service (FSS) providers are still going to be operating between 3820 MHz and 4000 MHz; it’s important to protect the FSS operations from interference from cellular service providers, Ericsson told the commission staff.

Ericsson said it has set up a testing and verification facility in the Plano, Texas, campus primarily focusing on Phase 1 co-existence of wireless service providers and FSS operations. The Plano setup is also being used to verify new features and functionalities for using the mid-band TDD spectrum.