Swisscom enables 5G carrier aggregation and VoNR (Voice over 5G) with help from MediaTek, Ericsson and Oppo

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Swisscom successfully enables features that will pave the way to faster 5G across Europe and the world.

Operating in conjunction with MediaTek (5G chipset), Ericsson (5G infrastructure) and Oppo (device manufacture, here with the Reno4 Z 5G), the Swiss network that launched 5G first in Europe has now successfully enabled two features on a live network, with a commercially-available handset, that will be vital for the next step in the 5G road map.

The first is 5G carrier aggregation, a feature supported on MediaTek 5G chipsets like the Dimensity 800U in the Realme 7 5G (and all the others, such as the recently announced 1100/1200 SoCs), which enables multiple 5G bands to be combined to offer faster overall speeds. This is a natural continuation of 4G carrier aggregation that now facilitates the amazing 4G speeds we can enjoy today, such as speeds of 350-400Mbps in many locations – without even having a 5G handset.

The second is VoNR (Voice over New Radio) or, to put it more simple; voice over 5G. This is a much needed feature to enable Standalone 5G connections (SA) over the current Non-Standalone (NSA) connections that combines 5G with older network technology to facilitate the use of voice telephony.

MediaTek chipsets also support Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), which allows operators to use spectrum for both 4G and 5G. Vodafone has deployed this in many parts of London to massively increase 5G coverage literally overnight.

But, it’s VoNR that will make a major difference to how 5G is used in the future. While the mix of 4G and 5G currently offers great speeds by combining existing spectrum owned by networks, and VoLTE (Voice over LTE/4G) sorts out the phone call issue, it increases the latency of the overall connection with the slower 4G bands being the ‘weak link’.

A move to standalone 5G is the future, and with a combination of spectrum refarming for 5G, DSS, winning more spectrum in auctions and so on, we are getting one step closer to the ultra-fast, low-latency, 5G service the networks all boasted about before they launched.


Press Release

MediaTek, Swisscom, Ericsson and OPPO Enable 5G Carrier Aggregation and Voice over New Radio

Collaboration enables more efficient spectrum usage, paving the way for 5G standalone networks

HSINCHU, Taiwan – Jan. 26, 2021 – MediaTek today announced it has reached a 5G carrier aggregation (CA) and Voice over New Radio (VoNR) milestone in collaboration with Swisscom, Ericsson and OPPO, advancing 5G networks across Europe.

Through this joint initiative, 5G CA between frequency division duplex (FDD) low band and time division duplex (TDD) mid band was achieved in both Non-Standalone (NSA) and Standalone (SA) network architectures. FDD was deployed simultaneously with LTE using the same spectrum resources and utilizing the Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technique. Aggregating the FDD band with its wider coverage capabilities together with the TDD band will help to extend the coverage of the higher peak rate capabilities of the TDD band and increases network capacity. FDD-LTE and FDD-TDD are both important in paving the way for 5G SA deployment, ensuring a seamless 5G user experience and extended capacity.

“As a 5G innovation pioneer, MediaTek has a long history of working with Swisscom, Ericsson and OPPO on 5G to usher in this new era of ultra-fast connectivity,” said JS Pan, General Manager of Wireless Communication System and Partnership at MediaTek. “This is just the beginning of the 5G SA journey in Europe and MediaTek is committed to bringing it live to its full extent. We are prepared to meet the increasing demand in new 5G services and applications. Our Dimensity series of powerful and energy-efficient 5G SoCs are designed to support NR CA across multiple configurations, as well as native VoNR support, to ensure a seamless user experience.”

VoNR represents a major step towards the migration to 5G SA systems. This will allow OEMs to bring innovative new services to market. With SA networks, 5G applications will be able to go beyond enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) targets of high data throughput to meet the ultra-low latency and reliability requirements of mission-critical use cases and enable next generation of massive IoT deployment.

Both accomplishments were made on Swisscom’s commercial 5G network using Ericsson’s network infrastructures including its RAN, Core Network and IMS solutions. Additionally, the milestones were reached on commercially available OPPO Reno 4Z 5G devices powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 800 SoC and MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ SoC test user equipment (UE).

“In our labs we are showcasing that the technologies we invest in today will benefit our customers tomorrow. This was confirmed again recently with Swisscom topping the latest Umlaut Connect best network test in Switzerland for the fourth year in a row,” said Christoph Aeschlimann, Chief Technology and Information Officer at Swisscom. “The future of 5G services will be centered around 5G standalone networks, and by investing in 5G standalone, we are also investing in new opportunities for Switzerland, such as through network slicing and dedicated on-premises 5G deployments.”

“Through this joint initiative, we’re taking another big step towards the commercialization of 5G standalone networks in Europe,” said Maggie Xue, President at OPPO Western Europe. “As 2021 will be a pivotal year for accelerating 5G rollouts, we’re eager to bring the best 5G experiences to European consumers with the help of MediaTek, Ericsson and Swisscom.”

“Bringing 5G standalone to the market requires a strong collaboration with our customers and partners. This latest achievement using industry-leading solutions like 5G carrier aggregation is an important step towards realizing the full benefits of 5G,” said Hannes Ekström, Head of Product Line 5G RAN, Ericsson. “Ericsson is proud to drive the innovation in this area together with MediaTek, Swisscom, and OPPO. We are enabling a reliable, secure, and flexible 5G standalone architecture that will push Europe’s digital transformation forward.”

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