Verizon and Samsung Complete the Fully Virtualized 5G Data Session on C-Band Spectrum

Verizon | July 29, 2021

Verizon and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. have completed an end-to-end fully virtualized 5G data session in a live network environment using C-band spectrum. The new milestone was achieved in preparation for the company's upcoming 5G Ultra Wideband expansion, which will use its recently acquired C Band spectrum.

Why is virtualization essential for optimizing 5G performance?

The trials in Texas, Connecticut, and Massachusetts used Samsung's fully virtualized RAN (vRAN) solution built on its software stack and C-band 64T64R Massive MIMO radio in coordination with Verizon's virtualized core. They were conducted over Verizon's network (using C-band Special Temporary Authority granted Verizon by the FCC). The trials produced results comparable to traditional hardware-based equipment.

Virtualization is essential to providing the services that advanced 5G networks offer. The programmability of virtualized networks will be critical in key 5G use cases such as large-scale IoT solutions, more robust consumer devices and solutions, AR/VR, remote healthcare, autonomous robots in manufacturing environments, and ubiquitous smart city solutions.

Cloud-native virtualized architecture improves network flexibility, service delivery speed, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, opening the way for large-scale mobile edge computing and network slicing. This technology allows Verizon to react quickly to customers' changing latency and processing requirements. Virtualization will also make it easier for new suppliers to enter the ecosystem. New entrants will accelerate innovation, reduce operational costs, and lay the groundwork for flexible network and cloud infrastructure closer to the customer, ultimately leading to millisecond latency in the single digits.

Why is Massive MIMO important for 5G performance optimization?

Massive MIMO is an advancement in antenna arrays that use many transmitters, allowing for more signal paths between a device and a cell tower. It also minimizes interference by beamforming, which focuses the beam from the cell site directly to where the user is, resulting in faster and more consistent rates when customers use apps and upload and download files. Samsung's C-band 64T64R Massive MIMO radios, which enable digital/dynamic beamforming, SU-MIMO, MU-MIMO, dual connectivity, and carrier aggregation, were utilized in this trial.

Today's milestone comes on the heels of Samsung's recent statement that it extends its vRAN capabilities to support mid-band Massive MIMO radios, a first in the industry. Samsung's C-band Massive MIMO radio is part of a more extensive portfolio of C-band solutions.

Verizon is on track to deliver 5G over C-band.

This virtualization work follows previous efforts to accelerate the expansion of 5G Ultra Wideband service using C-band spectrum, such as:

  • successful trials combining C-band and licensed mmWave spectrum,
  • establishing new agreements with Verizon's tower partners, Crown and SBA Communications, that call for process improvements such as simplifying and reducing forms and eliminating legal reviews, and
  • Ericsson and Samsung Electronics Co. C-band equipment installation

These collaborative initiatives, along with ongoing lab and field trials to improve 5G technology on the C-band spectrum, will enable Verizon to provide increased mobility and broadband services to millions more consumers and businesses as soon as the spectrum is cleared.

Verizon plans to bring the new 5G C-band spectrum into service in the first 46 cities in 2022 and offer 5G Ultra Wideband services to 100 million people. As a result, more than 175 million people are expected to access Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband service on the C-band spectrum by 2022 and 2023. By 2024 and beyond, when the remaining C-band spectrum is cleared, more than 250 million people are expected to access Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband service on the C-band spectrum.

About Verizon
On June 30, 2000, it is a leading global provider of technology, communications, information, and entertainment products and services. Verizon, headquartered in New York City and with a global footprint, earned $128.3 billion in revenue in 2020. The company provides data, video, and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, fulfilling customers' needs for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security, and control.


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