Intel Preps Morphing 5G Testbed

From PC Mag: 5G is coming fast. The next generation of global wireless networks is presumably going to power everything from huge networks of agricultural sensors and self-driving cars to augmented reality in homes.

Today, Intel announced a test platform that will support the core radio technology for 5G—5G NR—this December, even though the standard won't be fully baked until next year, and we won't see real 5G rollouts until 2019. What's more, this may be the 5G tech used in the iPhones of 2020.

Intel's new Mobile Trial Platform is the kind of thing we need to use to get to those rollouts, according to Asha Keddy, VP of client and IoT business and systems architecture, and GM of next generation and standards at Intel. The company's test platform—along with similar units from Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm and other vendors—lets wireless carriers make sure all their planned equipment will work together, preventing embarrassing glitches when they flip the switches.

"We're working with infrastructure partners like Ericsson and Nokia as the standard is being set, so we can make sure that the needs of the infrastructure partners are met and we don't have mistakes," Keddy said.

5G-compatible gear is starting to spread through the industry. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray told us that his carrier is starting to bolt up 5G-upgradeable base stations on its new 600MHz rural cell sites.

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