Exploring peak data rates of 10Gbit/s

Paul Boughton

National Instruments is working with Nokia’s Networks business to collaborate on advanced research related to fifth generation (5G) wireless technologies such as exploring peak data rates of 10Gbit/s and cell-edge rates of 100Mbit/s.

By using NI’s integrated hardware and software baseband platform, Nokia plans to speed up its research and rapidly demonstrate the viability of high-frequency millimeter wave as an option for 5G radio access technology.

“Our experimental 5G Proof-of-Concept system will be implemented using NI’s LabVIEW and PXI baseband modules, which is the state-of-art experimental system for rapid prototyping of 5G air interface available today,” said Lauri Oksanen, Vice President of Research and Technology at Nokia. 

“We are thrilled to work with Nokia on this project and others involving wireless research,” said Eric Starkloff, NI Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing. “Our software-defined platform based on LabVIEW and PXI is ideal for researching and prototyping standards such as 5G.”

Several technologies are being researched today to increase spectrum efficiency and lower the intercell interference such as heterogeneous networks, small cells, relays and coordinated multi-point.

The aim is to lower the load per base station by increasing the density, which in turn increases spectrum efficiency to users in a smaller geographic area and so increases the available bandwidth. All of these options focus on deploying more infrastructure equipment and further increasing use of ‘smart’ techniques such as coordinated multi-point, beamforming and so on. By sharing network information at the base station level, load and coverage per user can be optimised to more effectively use the existing spectrum.

With 5G, the availability of spectrum is not as simple as 3G and LTE. Unless industry, government and associated spectrum regulating entities can agree on how and when to reallocate spectrum, there is essentially no spectrum available below 6GHz. Reallocating spectrum is not an easy task since many service operators paid billions of dollars to acquire the spectrum already in use, and transitions are not easy or cheap.

Essentially, all the paradigms associated with communication below 6 GHz must change, creating research opportunities in RF front end design and antennas, beamforming, physical layer design and even new protocols. While many of these technologies are new and have yet to be developed, there is history of rolling out new data capabilities overlaying the existing infrastructure. 

 For more information, visit www.ni.com/5g/