Verizon and Samsung Electronics recently completed an end-to-end fully virtualized 5G data session over the C-band spectrum in a live network environment.
The next step has been taken in preparation for its next 5G Ultra Wideband expansion using its newly acquired C-band spectrum. The trials, conducted on the Verizon network (using the special temporary C-band authorization granted to Verizon by the FCC) in Texas, Connecticut and Massachusetts, used Samsung’s fully virtualized RAN (vRAN) solution based on its own software stack and C-band 64T64R Massive Radio MIMO in coordination with Verizon’s virtualized kernel. The tests reached speeds comparable to those of traditional hardware equipment.
Virtualization is essential to deliver the services promised by advanced 5G networks. Key 5G use cases, such as large-scale IOT solutions, more robust consumer devices and solutions, augmented reality / virtual reality, remote healthcare, autonomous robotics in healthcare environments manufacturing and ubiquitous smart city solutions will rely heavily on the programmability of virtualized networks.
Cloud-native virtualized architecture leads to greater flexibility, faster service delivery, greater scalability and cost efficiency in networks, paving the way for large-scale mobile computing and network slicing. This technology enables Verizon to respond quickly to the varying computing and latency needs of customers. Virtualization will also reduce the barrier to entry for new vendors into the ecosystem. New entrants will accelerate innovation, lower operating costs, and pave the way for flexible network and cloud infrastructure closer to the customer, ultimately leading to single-digit millisecond latency.
Massive MIMO is an evolution of antenna networks that uses a large number of transmitters, which allows more possible signal paths between a device and a cell phone tower. It also reduces interference through beamforming, which directs the beam from the cell site directly to where the client results in higher, more consistent speeds for clients using apps and downloading and uploading files. This trial used Samsung’s Massive MIMO 64T64R C-band radios that support digital / dynamic beamforming, SU-MIMO, MU-MIMO and dual connectivity and carrier aggregation.