Verizon trials 5G mmWave, C-band aggregation, achieves 4.3 Gbps speeds
Verizon plans to cover 46 markets with 5G C-Band spectrum in the first quarter of 2022
Verizon, Ericsson and MediaTek conducted a recent lab trial, in which the group aggregated C-band spectrum with mmWave spectrum, achieving speeds of 4.3 Gbps. The trial follows Verizon’s deals with Crown Castle and SBA Communications to accelerate the deployment of C-band equipment and amidst the carrier’s continued preparation for the expansion of its millimeter-wave (mmWave) network — referred to as 5G Ultra Wideband — across its C-band spectrum.
The trial aggregated 100 megahertz of C-band spectrum together with 600 megahertz of mmWave spectrum and used Ericsson’s basebands and radios, including the RAN Compute Baseband 6648, Antenna-Integrated Radio (AIR) 6449 for the C-band spectrum and the Streetmacro 6701 for mmWave. By leveraging massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) architectures and beamforming technology, the radios offered high performance and a better user experience, according to the vendor.
MediaTek provided its M80 modem, which combines mmWave and sub-6 GHz 5G technologies onto a single chip, for the trial. The company’s 5G modems are designed for a range of devices, including smartphones, PCs, Mi-Fi hotspots, broadband customer premise equipment (CPE) and industrial IoT applications.
Speaking to Verizon’s spectrum holdings, more generally, Adam Koeppe, senior vice president of technology planning at Verizon claimed the Verizon now has the strongest spectrum portfolio in the industry. He added that the depth of the portfolio, “allows [Verizon] to quickly expand access to a world-class 5G experience for our mobile and fixed broadband customers, providing high speeds, low latencies and enormous capacity.”
“These lab trials demonstrate the exceptional network performance our customers will receive as we are able to integrate our newly acquired C-band spectrum with mmWave spectrum,” he said.
Further, Verizon has already started installation of C-band equipment from Ericsson and Samsung and plans to cover 46 markets with its new 5G C-Band spectrum in the first quarter of 2022. In that same timeframe, the carrier said it intends to provide 5G Ultra Wideband service to 100 million people. In the months and years following, coverage is expected to increase to more than 175 million people, and by 2024 and beyond, more than 250 million people are expected to have access to the 5G mmWave service on C-band spectrum.