SK Telecom and Ericsson demo high data rates with ‘5G’ small cell

5G small cell system supports higher performance compared with LTE by removing inter-cell interference based on a new 5G radio frame architecture

SK Telecom and Ericsson demo high data rates with ‘5G’ small cell

South Korean mobile operator SK Telecom and Ericsson have demonstrated a ‘5G’ small cell system, which they claim offers much higher data rates than LTE by ‘drastically suppressing inter-cell interference based on a new 5G radio frame architecture’.

The demonstration was conducted in an area heavily affected by inter-cell interference from multiple neighbouring small cells. Despite this, the two companies said the demonstration showed that the 5G small cell system more than doubled the cell-edge user performance compared with LTE.

SK Telecom noted that at present, LTE small cells are being used by a wide range of mobile operators to enhance mobile data service quality in heavily congested areas. However, the biggest problem with these LTE small cells is that the service quality degrades with the number of small cells, due to inter-cell interference mainly caused by cell-specific reference signals (CRS) collision.

To overcome this limitation in LTE small cells, the two companies developed a new 5G radio frame architecture and interference control technology, which they say is fundamentally different from that of the LTE network.

The accepted wisdom at the moment is that to build a 5G network that supports hundreds of times higher quality than LTE, mobile carriers will need to install an increased number of small cells. The ability to reduce inter-cell interference will translate into an important competitive advantage.

SK Telecom and Ericsson plan to establish a 5G Testbed at SK Telecom’s Bundang Building within this year to jointly verify various types of 5G radio access technologies - including 5G small cell system - in the Korean mobile environment and develop other key 5G technologies with the aim to launch a 5G trial service in 2018.

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