5G iPhone could get a big boost from US wireless carriers

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OPPO worked with Ericsson, MediaTek and Qualcomm on Vodafone’s SA 5G network

A few days ago, Vodafone UK switched-on what it claimed was the first live standalone (SA) 5G deployment in the country with a number of partners including Ericsson, MediaTek, OPPO and Qualcomm. Today, OPPO, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer, provided additional details of the role it played in the network deployment, saying that it supplied the 5G test devices, as well as network slicing services.

The new network in the U.K. is located at Coventry University and was verified by OPPO’s 5G smartphones, the Find X2 Pro — powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset — and the Reno3, powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 1000L platform.

OPPO also said it co-developed network slice switching software solutions with Qualcomm. Network slicing, which is the separation of multiple virtual networks operating on the same physical hardware, makes it possible to use different parts of the network for different applications, improving network performance for each.

Ericsson provided Vodafone with 5G equipment for the SA network including its SA 5G New Radio software, which became generally available recently. The SA software solidifies Ericsson’s claim to an end-to-end SA 5G NR solution that combines its radio portfolio with its Ericsson 5G Core offering, plus the SA 5G software for low- to mid-band spectrum.

Non-standalone (NSA) 5G uses a 5G Radio Access Network but a 4G core network, while SA 5G technology uses both 5G core and radio networks.

Per Narvinger, head of product area networks at Ericsson said that SA 5G networks “have enabled higher data speeds and new use cases.”

Similarly, Vodafone commented that its SA 5G network will show the “true benefits of 5G” covering low latency, higher speed and new IoT use cases. The new deployment comes a year after the carrier launched commercial 5G based on non-standalone (NSA) technology.

“This new phase of 5G starts to deliver on the incredible capabilities of 5G that have had so much attention, but haven’t yet been brought to life. From here, we will really start to see 5G make a difference to the way organizations think about being connected, and what’s possible with connectivity in the future,” said Vodafone UK’s CTO Scott Petty.

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