Switzerland’s primary telco provider Swisscom and Ericsson have claimed the first European successful multi-vendor, 3GPP-compliant 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) data call on 3.5 GHz spectrum.
The call took place in the Swiss city of Burgdorf, where Swisscom is licensed to transmit on the frequencies required for 5G and carry out corresponding field trials.
“We’ve raised the bar on our strategic partnership with Swisscom with these new milestones,” said Ericsson executive VP and head of business area networks Fredrik Jejdling.
“By achieving an end-to-end data call on the 3.5GHz band and kick-starting the 5G network rollout, we are helping Swisscom bring 5G services quicker to its customers, added Jejdling. “Access to new technologies will prepare industries for 5G use cases that will benefit the whole of Switzerland.”
According to Swisscom, the data call was conducted over the telco’s 3GPP-compliant network using Ericsson’s Radio System with AIR 6488, Baseband 6630, R6000 Transport, and virtual EPC for 5G. Data transmissions were carried out using Intel’s Mobile Trial Platform (MTP) device and Swisscom’s 5G-subscribed SIM card.
“The experience that Swisscom gains with the 5G network in Burgdorf is very important for our upcoming launch of 5G services,” said Swisscom CTO and CIO Heinz Herren.
Ericsson has been Swisscom’s strategic Gigabit LTE and 5G supplier since November 2017, helping it transform Switzerland’s network through 2020. During the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, the two companies demonstrated end-to-end network slicing for critical communications over public networks on Ericsson’s LTE and 5G products.
Swisscom, along with its rival operators Sunrise Communications and Salt SA, is expected to bid in the country’s 5G auction, which is set to take place in January 2019 – with blocs in the 700 MHz, 1,400 MHz, 2,600 MHz and 2.6 GHz being subject to bidding.
The telco aims to be the first mobile operator in Switzerland to offer 5G services, planning to roll those out in selected locations by year’s end.