Future technology presented to 3GPP members

NI has presented its latest activities in the SDR and 3GPP area, showing prototypes for 5G as well as LTE-A in the course of the 3GPP RAN WGs Meeting held from August 18th – 22nd, in Dresden.

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a global collaboration project between several committees for the standardisation of mobile communications, in particular for GERAN (GSM), LTE and UMTS. Members include telecommunications associations such as Alcatel-Lucent, BlackBerry, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Sony, and Telefonica.

The NI demonstrations were presented to a total of 18 companies in the telecommunications industry that are members of 3GPP including AT&T, HuaWei Technologies, InterDigital, Intel Mobile Communications, Nokia Networks Oy, NTT Docomo, Qualcomm, Samsung Telecommunications, Telecom Italia, and Vodafone. In particular, attendees received a sneak preview of prototypes in the following technology demos:

· Dense Networks:
Prototyping MAC mechanisms for dense wireless networks with multiple base stations and terminals using FlexRIO and LabVIEW

· Massive MIMO: 
Lund University is prototyping a massive MIMO system with 100 antennas at the base station and 10 user terminals, using NI USRP RIO and LabVIEW.

· mmWave:
Channel sounding at 28, 38, and 72 GHz at NYU as well as multi-GB/s backhaul and access link prototype using FlexRIO and LabVIEW

· Future PHY/MAC
Robust waveforms for 5G cellular systems and prototyping of real-time wireless networks using FlexRIO and LabVIEW

· NI Solutions for Small Cell and Remote Radio Head Testing

· 5GNOW FP7 Project by TU Dresden 5G Lab
Prof. Gerhard Fettweis from Vodafone chair, TU Dresden, presented his new 5G Lab sponsored by NI

“Data rates are exploding – according to Moore’s Law, they double every 18 months. In the year 2025 we engineers have to deliver a terabit WiFi solution,” said Prof. Dr. Fettweis, Vodafone chair at TU Dresden. “It’s not only about faster and faster data, but also about a complete new world. Just imagine autonomous cars and people crossing intersections without traffic lights. Imagine those cars were controlled by a new central infrastructure, and we could use our phones to turn on a ”personal bubble”, to avoid casualties—this is a complete new world!”

”With these technology presentations, NI shows that it is well-positioned for future prototyping for 5G and LTE-A,” said James Kimery, director of RF and communications research at NI. “Our modular hardware and software platform concept to scale channel count, bandwidth and signal processing capabilities is a perfect fit for theoretical research, standardisation, and product development. Moreover, our Dresden office and the TU Dresden, both dedicated to 5G research, are proof that Dresden is not only the right place for a 3GPP meeting, but also a place where a lot of significant activities towards 5G happen.”

The presentation by Lund University showed the recently announced collaboration between NI and Lund University on the development of a test bed capable of prototyping a massive multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) system. The test bed will consist of a massive MIMO base station with 100 transmit and receive nodes. Researchers can link several pieces of user equipment that simulate mobile devices with the massive MIMO base station. They can emulate a real-world scenario in order to evaluate how the performance of massive MIMO compares to theory.

The NI USRP RIO used in the demo shown by Lund University is an integrated software defined radio solution for rapidly prototyping high-performance, multichannel wireless communication systems. The NI USRP RIO platform is built on the LabVIEW RIO architecture and combines a high-performance 2 x 2 MIMO RF transceiver capable of transmitting and receiving signals from DC to 6 GHz with an open LabVIEW programmable FPGA architecture.

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