Wish to know the way forward for 5G and 6G? Try Qualcomm’s MWC2022 demos (Analyst Angle)

After being badly battered by the worldwide pandemic, Cell World Congress (MWC)—the cell business’s greatest present, is again to its previous glory. It would once more be the place the place futuristic applied sciences and merchandise are revealed in addition to market traits are set. In case you are trying to perceive the way forward for 5G and the roadmap to 6G, be certain that to take a look at Qualcomm R&D’s expertise demos at their sales space at Corridor 3, Stand 3E10. This yr they appear to be compensating for the missed final two years and displaying a lot of stay, over-the-air demos, proving that these applied sciences work in flesh and blood. Additionally they have a slew of simulation demos that present a primary impression of very new ideas.

Final week, I acquired an early view of those demos at Qualcomm’s headquarters in San Diego. Listed below are among the ones I discovered fascinating and can give a glimpse of the long run.

Aspect be aware: If you need to know extra about 5G Superior, take a look at this text and a latest Tantra’s Mantra podcast.

AI-enabled 5G air interface design

The complexities of the wi-fi hyperlink (air interface) are effectively hidden from customers who benefit from the simplicity of contemporary cell units. If you look extra intently, how wi-fi hyperlink works isn’t any wanting black magic. It really works primarily based on subtle information fashions. Therefore its administration is a fertile floor for Synthetic Intelligence (AI) and Machine Studying (ML). AI/ML for hyperlink administration is being launched in 3GPP Rel. 18, and I’m satisfied that that is solely a primary step and might be a big focus space for 6G and past.

Qualcomm’s present demo reveals AL/ML utility to 2 areas—channel state suggestions (CSF) and mmWave beam administration. CSF is the first enter to resolve modulation, coding, and different settings used for wi-fi hyperlinks. So, correct CSF is extremely essential to hyperlink efficiency. Presently, the community obtains it by steady reporting by units. The proposal in Rel. 18 is to make use of AI/ML fashions on each networks and units to estimate CSF as an alternative of precise reporting. It will considerably cut back the overhead and enhance capability. Furthermore, it additionally improves latency, as there isn’t any want to attend for suggestions. The demo reveals how the AL/ML CSF estimation intently matches the measured CSF. 

5G mmWave efficiency is solely depending on correct beamforming and beam-steering. These are additionally primarily based on statistical fashions, and utilizing AI/ML for beam administration is a no brainer. The demo reveals improved efficiency with the AI/ML strategy.  

Enabling the metaverse

No demo is full with out Metaverse! Qualcomm has many AR/VR/XR analysis initiatives that far predate the latest euphoria in regards to the Metaverse. Qualcomm has demos that contact a lot of its features. These embody boundless XR with cut up rendering, latency optimizations, mmWave primarily based sensing for monitoring, to raised match the bodily and digital realms, and others. For my part, essentially the most vital amongst them was growing a brand new modem-based API to reveal radio circumstances to app builders. It will enable AR/VR and gaming purposes to rapidly undertake their traits, be it rendering high quality, positioning, or motion strikes, to fast-changing radio circumstances. 

Superior MIMO and mmWave evolution

If you happen to suppose mmWave spectrum is the next band, then brace for this: Qualcomm is engaged on 145 GHz, referred to as sub-Tera Hertz band. That prime frequency requires a particular antenna approach referred to as Lensed MIMO and guarantees Terabit/sec speeds. The demonstrated working prototype gives as much as 100 Gbps speeds utilizing greater than 100 GHz of the spectrum. This has the potential to put in writing one other new chapter in connectivity.

There’s a demo using the 13 GHz spectrum on the mid-band facet, referred to as the higher mid-band. The demo reveals {that a} system with the same antenna dimension and 5x greater bandwidth can present the identical protection and magnitudes greater capability than the present 3. 5GHz system. The band itself stretches from 7 to 24 GHz.

Earlier than any such futuristic ideas come to fruition in 5G Superior and 6G, there are additionally ample demos of applied sciences for the close to future, resembling Sub-Band Full-Duplex (SBFD) and mmWave evolution. SBFD was launched in Rel. 18 to enhance latency, particularly for business verticals,  and has the potential to evolve to single-frequency full-duplex in 6G. The demo showcases the efficiency enhancements SBFD can carry. Qualcomm has been engaged on this expertise for a very long time. There appears to be numerous traction for this, enabling the following section of 5G. There was additionally an announcement from Kumu networks on SBFD a few days in the past. 

There are additionally mmWave enhancement demos that embody improved mobility enhancements for purposes resembling AR/VR that want extraordinarily low latency, shared spectrum deployment, and mmWave community planning device that makes use of 3D avenue fashions to foretell protection higher.

Exact indoor and outside positioning

Exact positioning has change into a essential want, particularly for purposes resembling Industrial IoT, the place industrial robots in factories have to be managed. There are a selection of prototypes and simulations displaying positioning utilizing mid-band, 5G mmWave, 60 GHz mmWave, and the Decreased Capability (RedCap) class outlined in Rel. 17. These make the most of varied methods, together with RF fingerprinting, AI/ML, angle of arrival/departure, and others.

Automotive security enhancements 

Everyone knows how very important radars are for autonomous automobiles. However radars, too, can have blind spots. The collaborative radar demo reveals how radars of automobiles related both by the cloud or by vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication can collaborate to remove these blind spots. That is one demo the place you don’t even know such pitfalls exist until you see them. 

There are different Mobile V2X demos that make the most of roadside items for correct positioning for areas with poor GPS protection (e.g., city canyons) and different security purposes.

Huge-area IoT and industrial IoT enhancements

There’s additionally a spread of demos associated to IoT.   The wide-area IoT demos embody capability simulation of RedCap units as an instance how the community can assist a really excessive density of decrease complexity units, extending the protection of IoT units by mesh connectivity. The Industrial IoT demos showcase the sturdy high-reliability connectivity in factories complying with O-RAN Alliance specification and others, utilizing methods resembling Coordinated MultiPoint (CoMP). 

Moreover, there are demos as an instance how energy saving in networks will be achieved as a part of 3GPP’s initiative to allow inexperienced networks. Energy saving is likely one of the essential targets of Rel. 18

For straightforward reference, Qualcomm has posted movies of all of the demos on  YouTube.

In closing

MWC has change into an annual pilgrimage for the cell business members to witness new applied sciences and uncover new traits. MWC 2022 is popping out to be a worthwhile occasion after two years of a lull due to the pandemic. Qualcomm all the time shines on the occasion with its cutting-edge expertise demos. This yr isn’t any completely different. Qualcomm demos present a sneak peek into the way forward for 5G and the trail towards 6G. So, in case you are in Barcelona for the occasion, don’t neglect to go to the Qualcomm sales space for these demos. If you happen to couldn’t make it, be certain that to take a look at the movies.

In the meantime, to learn articles like this and get an up-to-date evaluation of the most recent cell and tech business information, sign-up for our month-to-month e-newsletter at, or take heed to our Tantra’s Mantra podcast.

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