Qualcomm’s 5G NR Interop Testing Now Includes Nokia, ZTE, and Ericsson

SAN DIEGO — Qualcomm recently completed 5G New Radio (NR) interoperability testing with Nokia in the 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz spectrum bands. The test used Nokia’s Airscale equipment and 5G NR device prototypes.

The testing took place at Nokia’s 5G center in Oulu, Finland, and the findings will be used for 5G trials with operators this year. Those operators include BT, Deutsche Telekom, Elisa, KT, LGU+, NTT DoCoMo, Optus, SK Telecom, Telia, and Vodafone Group.

According to John Smee, vice president of engineering at Qualcomm Research, the interoperability testing “paves the way” for the trials with operators. He added that this interoperability testing also helps companies prepare their equipment for eventual commercial deployment.

But this isn’t the first 5G NR interoperability test from Qualcomm. In December, just one day after the 3GPP completed its work on the 5G NR standard, Ericsson and Qualcomm announced they had completed an interoperability test using Ericsson 5G NR pre-commercial base stations and Qualcomm prototype devices. That test was conducted in Ericsson’s lab in Kista, Sweden, and Qualcomm’s research lab in New Jersey.

Operators AT&T, NTT DoCoMo, OrangeSK TelecomSprint, Telstra, T-Mobile U.S., Verizon, and Vodafone participated in the Ericsson test. That test used both 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz spectrum bands and included sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) end-to-end 5G NR systems.

Before the 3GPP 5G NR standard was complete, Qualcomm was conducting interoperability tests with vendor ZTE. Last November the company said it had completed 5G NR interoperability testing with China Mobile using ZTE’s pre-commercial base stations and a Qualcomm prototype using sub-6 GHz spectrum.

John Smee, vice president of engineering at Qualcomm Research, discusses some of the results of the company’s 5G NR interoperability tests.