Samsung and Cisco have teamed up with US telecoms giant Verizon to create what they claim is the first-ever multi-vendor 5G trial.
The US trial, based in Ann Arbor, Detroit, in Michigan, used network function virtualisation (NFV) across Verizon's mobile network.
Cisco provided a 5G vitrualised packet core with Cisco Advanced Services and Samsung provided its virtual RAN (vRAN) solutions, 5G radio base stations and home routers.
The three companies followed a series of network vendor interoperability tests based on Verizon's 5G technical forum specification. They had to ensure that the three company's technologies, including the network, radio and user devices, could work together.
According to Cisco, the trial highlighted the ‘readiness' of 5G technologies and paved the way for deployment of commercial 5G networks. The networking giant said that the trial also demonstrated that service providers can deploy 5G networks that are specialised to their unique market needs by selecting individual network infrastructure components from a selection of multiple vendors.
"Our collaboration with Samsung and Verizon for the first of many 5G trials marks an important industry milestone for interoperability and diversified service offerings," said Yvette Kanouff, senior vice president and general manager, service provider business, at Cisco.
Woojune Kim, vice president and head of next gen' technology at Samsung, added: "A shift towards NFV creates new opportunities in the industry value chain, enabling collaboration with pioneering industry leaders to bring greater value to consumers and businesses".
Earlier this year, Verizon announced plans for customer trials of 5G technology in the fixed wireless broadband space. Five US cities are scheduled to begin trials in the second quarter of 2017, with pilots in a total of 11 markets expected by the middle of the year. Samsung and Cisco will also be involved in those trials, alongside Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia and Qualcomm.
Samsung is also working with Verizon's rival T-Mobile on 5G lab tests and field trials throughout 2017.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the South Korean company is joining forces with communications firm Arqiva to build what it claims will be the UK's first 5G network.
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