Swisscom adds new 5G test locations ahead of 2019 commercial launch
Swiss carrier Swisscom has expanded the number of 5G test locations to six with Lucerne, Zurich, Bern, Lausanne and Geneva joining its initial site in Burgdorf. The European telco announced that it has connected to its test system a smartphone prototype equipped with a Qualcomm 5G midband modem and a Wistron NeWeb Corporation (WNC) hot spot, also featuring the same Qualcomm chipset.
Swisscom confirmed plans to roll out 5G to 60 cities and localities across Switzerland by the end of next year. By the second half of 2019, Swisscom expects to be able to sell 5G handsets from several major handset vendors. Swisscom, together with Qualcomm Technologies, Wistron NeWeb Corporation (WNC) and Ericsson have recently showed what it claimed to be the first 5G device on a live 5G NR network in Europe.
The 5G connection in the 3.5 GHz spectrum band took place at Swisscom’s Dialog Arena technology showcase event in Lucerne and was conducted using a 5G CPE, the WNC MWH-5 accessing Swisscom’s 3GPP Rel-15 5G NR network based on Ericsson’s hardware and software for radio, transport and core network solutions.
The WNC device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and RF subsystem is expected to be one of the first commercially available 5G devices on Swisscom’s 5G network in first half of 2019.
In addition to the WNC device, Swisscom also demonstrated a 5G NR data transfer on the same 5G network using Qualcomm Technologies’ smartphone form factor mobile test device, also powered by the Snapdragon X50 5G modem and RF subsystem.
“In the past, we only had lab-like demonstrations. Today in Lucerne, we successfully connected both, Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G mobile test device and WNC’s CPE, with our live 5G network,” said Urs Schaeppi, CEO of Swisscom.
“This is the first 5G NR OTA connection worldwide between devices and a live operator network using 3.5 GHz spectrum, marking an important milestone for the mobile industry in Europe to help enable OEMs and operators to deliver 5G networks and devices in the first half of 2019,” says Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated.
In September, Ericsson and Swisscom completed an end-to-end, multivendor 5G Non-Standalone data call on 3.5 GHz band.
The end-to-end 5G data call was made over Swisscom’s 3GPP-compliant network using Ericsson’s Radio System radio, baseband and transport solutions, as well as the Ericsson Cloud Packet Core operated on a system-verified Ericsson NFVi solution.