Telefonica tests tech that could boost 5G broadband

Telefonica and 5TONIC Labs have successfully trialled new modulation technology that improves the efficiency of 5G transmissions, delivering coverage and capacity at the fraction of the cost of fibre, paving the way for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband.

FWA broadband is expected to be one of the first widespread use cases for 5G, using the increased capacity and speeds to deliver superfast broadband to areas not connected by terrestrial networks, such as rural locations.

“The objectives of the tests were to show the spectral efficiency based on measured throughput, and evaluate coverage, the role of interference, peak data rates, linear scaling with MIMO order, real time processing, and the ability to scale,” said said Arturo Azcorra, vice-chairman of 5TONIC.


“These are key performance indicators required for a successful deployment of Fixed Wireless Access service.”

The partners trialled the use of Cohere Technologies’ 5G turboConnect FWA technology over three days and achieved a throughput of 300Mbps in 10MHz. The tests also showed the capacity of the modulation tech to scale linearly with antenna layers and channel bandwidth, boosting the versatility of next generation networks.

“We are very happy with the results obtained, that clearly improve on those obtained with other technological solutions,” added Azcorra.

5TONIC Labs was launched by both Telefonica and IMEDA Networks to bring together researchers from both industry and academia to work on innovation, including in 5G. For Cohere Technologies, the trials are seen as a way of proving the ability of OFTS modulation and its suitability for 5G.

“Working with Telefónica and our 5TONIC partners, we were again able to demonstrate in a real-world scenario how OTFS is an ideal candidate for 5G and beyond, achieving spectral efficiency nearly six times better than any other competing solutions,” added Shlomo Rakib, Cohere Technologies CEO.

“With this milestone, Cohere continues its successful track record of demonstrations and trials, completed in cooperation with a broad range of operators around the world.”

5G networks are expected to arrive in 2019, bringing gigabit speeds, low latency and high capacity. Beyond FWA, it is expected they will support an array of new applications and enhanced cellular services.

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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.