5G NR video call using millimetre wave spectrum

18th December 2018
Alex Lynn

In Rome, the first European 5G NR video call has been completed on the TIM network in the millimetre wave (mmWave) frequency band, in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated and Ericsson. This is an important milestone in conjunction with the unveiling of the first Innovation Hub dedicated to 5G.

This took place in the presence of the Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi; Mario Di Mauro, Chief Strategy, Innovation & Customer Experience Officer at TIM; Enrico Salvatori, Senior Vice President and President Qualcomm EMEA; Elio Catania, President of Confindustria Digitale and other representatives from the Italian industrial world and the ICT sector.

In particular, the 5G video call was conducted in the mmWave frequency band in NR (new radio) mode thanks to a mobile smartphone form-factor test device powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem while the network infrastructure components of were made available by Ericsson. This is a new milestone that will soon lead to the commercial use of 5G mmWave technology in Europe.

During the event, the first 5G compatible smartphone was showcased, along with the first solutions and services of TIM’s new ultra-fast mobile network. These included a remote-driven car; a remote visit of museums and artworks (thanks to virtual reality); a remote control of industrial robots; and a remote tactile control systems and multiplayer interactive video games in augmented reality.

In particular, the demonstration of the remote-driven car with 5G provided an area within the TIM Innovation Hub in Rome where a remote driving station has been placed, and an area in Turin outside the TIM Open Air Lab innovation centre where the car was moving remotely. Spectators in front of the station in Rome were able to observe the driving experience 700 km away.

The car control platform collects data and multimedia contents from the multiple sensors, cameras and radars in real time, transmitting them to the remote station thanks to the speed, reliability and security of the 5G network using enhanced mobile broadband for video streaming and low-latency for control commands. This application shows how 5G will be a disruptive technology for the entire transport system, enabling remote controlled autonomous driving and managing entire fleets of vehicles in a more efficient way.

The new TIM 5G Innovation Hub in Rome is an area that aims to attract a whole ecosystem of companies, startups, R&D centres and other stakeholders interested in the digital evolution – positioning itself as a benchmark of excellence in Italy for the development and the trial of innovative services and solutions based on the new 5G technology.

The opening event involved other leading partners such as Nokia demonstrated a variety of innovative services, while device manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Xiaomi and ZTE presented their 5G smartphone prototypes and solutions for 5G Fixed Wireless Access services.

Mario Di Mauro, Chief Strategy, Innovation and Customer Experience Officer at TIM, said: "When we started to define the strategy and the development plans for 5G, we immediately realised that such a massive challenge could not be faced without the support of a wide range of partners committed to the same goal. We therefore proposed Qualcomm Technologies set up a place where work on the new 5G services and every business idea could find a quick realisation thanks to the support of leading international technology players, innovative partners and start-ups from the local and national ecosystem".

Salvatori, added: "Qualcomm Technologies is very excited to be part of this initiative and we would like to congratulate TIM on the significant momentum they have achieved in a short time with the Hub. A great example of innovation is today’s demo showing the first 5G mmWave mobile smartphone form-factor mobile test device powered by the Snapdragon X50 5G modem connecting to Ericsson 5G Radio Access Network. We are very pleased to be part of the team helping to bring 5G to commercial reality in Italy in 2019 and also to realising the vision of the Hub. 5G is so much more than new devices and smartphones and it will provide significant growth opportunities in new sectors. The Hub provides TIM with a strong platform to leverage the benefits of 5G to a whole host of new customers and industries.”

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