How Ericsson is driving real-life customer trials with 5G devices

5G Future

To ensure service providers can turn on 5G as soon as possible, Ericsson has taken another step to drive 5G commercial readiness by contracting Wistron NeWeb Corporation (WNC) to deliver 5G mobile devices for use in customer trials from Q4 2018.

5G device availability is essential for 5G to reach commercial readiness. Ericsson is tenaciously working with key ecosystem partners for network and device Interoperability Development Testing (IoDT) based on 3GPP-compliant solutions on both mid- and high-frequency bands.

In the latest development toward commercial 5G launches, Ericsson has contracted Wistron NeWeb Corporation (WNC), a major Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) based in Taiwan, to deliver 5G mobile hotspot routers to be used in customer trials from November 2018.

The device is based on a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X50 5G modem and will be used for mid-band 5G New Radio (NR) non-standalone (NSA) solutions, also supporting high-end LTE access.

Ericsson’s move to provide end-user device for customers trials will enable the testing of both network performance and mobility in real-life situations.

Thomas Noren, Head of 5G Commercialization, Ericsson says: “Having access to 5G devices is crucial for customer trials and interoperability tests. Together with WNC and Qualcomm, Ericsson continues to drive 5G commercial readiness for service providers by significantly improving the testing of 5G NR networks, and facilitating the testing and commercial launch of 5G services in the early phase of 5G introduction.”

Fayu Chen, SVP and GM of WNC’s AIS Business Group, says: “5G is going to be a global game changer for all industries and consumers. Early access to devices will drive testing across markets and use cases. It will also provide feedback on device portfolio requirements for years to come. The collaboration of 5G leaders such as Qualcomm, Ericsson and WNC will define the parameters for new devices over the coming years at a global level.”

The 5G mobile hotspot router has one USB connection and one normal cable power connection and can be used in two phases. In phase one, it can be used for interoperability tests with Ericsson’s first-mover customers using pre-commercial hardware and is available from Q4 2018. In phase two, the device has a commercial form factor and will be used for Ericsson’s own general testing alongside customer engagements.