TCL Communication on Saturday unveiled history’s first full 5G software implementation suitable for European and Asian markets, calling the achievement a “groundbreaking” milestone for the industry’s efforts to commercialize the fifth generation of mobile networks. The configuration is based on open-source project OpenAirInterface and has been developed in partnership with German telecom signal processing firm Creonic and French research center EURECOM. The experimental setup utilizes real-time 5G user equipment communicating in the 3.5GHz band on 80MHz channels, thus being in line with the first implementable 5G standard the 3GPP completed in late December as its Release 15 specification.
The world’s first full 5G software implementation allows TCL to reliably deliver such prototype solutions and conduct field trials going forward, with the company confirming that’s precisely what it’s setting out to do, having already scheduled numerous real-world tests meant to take place over the course of this year. The setup allows for reliable high-speed Internet access ensuring nearly instant content delivery to all connected devices, having also been specifically optimized for high-resolution virtual reality experiences and controlling machines such as autonomous cars and drones due to its low latency, according to the telecom giant. TCL is expecting the technology to enable entirely new use cases and touts it as the ultimate proof that the OpenAirInterface is the “perfect” platform for prototyping 5G implementations, with the open-source solution already allowing such activities only two months after the Release 15 standard has been completed.
OpenAirInterface founder EUROCOM will release the first public version of the 5G technology in the second quarter of the year. TCL has been contributing to 5G standardization efforts since early 2015 and is now planning to launch its debut 5G products in the second half of 2019 once large-scale 5G deployment begins on a global level, the Chinese tech giant said, adding that its technology will be specifically targeted at Europe and North America. The historic full software implementation will be showcased at this year’s Mobile World Congress next week. 5G is expected to be a major focus of the latest iteration of the Barcelona, Spain-based trade show as the wireless industry is now on the verge of commercial buildouts.