An industry leading step in 5G took place earlier last month when Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated and ZTE Corporation together achieved 5G-enabled Voice over New Radio call. The call was performed in compliance with 3GPP Release 15 specifications over the 2.5 GHz spectrum band (n41) by utilizing a ZTE’s 5G NR base station and a 5G smartphone form factor test device powered by a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 5G Modem-RF System.
Voice services are a fundamental offering for mobile operators, and when performed using a 5G network, it is called Voice over New Radio (VoNR). The ability to complete VoNR calls will be an important step in the global mobile industry’s evolution from non-standalone to standalone, as it will allow operators to deliver high-quality voice service without having to rely on VoLTE (voice over LTE) or an LTE anchor.
The 5G VoNR call is the latest in a line of milestones completed by Qualcomm Technologies and ZTE in their ongoing collaboration to support the evolution of 5G. Previously, collaboration between the two companies produced the world’s first end-to-end 5G NR Interoperability Data Testing (IoDT) system demonstrating a data connection based on 3GPP R15 standard in November 2017 in China. Additionally, the companies completed a live demonstration of 5G network services based on an end-to-end sub-6GHz commercial system in February 2019 in China. More recently, Qualcomm Technologies and ZTE completed the first 5G mobile phone millimeter-wave interoperability test in the country.
“This achievement with ZTE allows us to further support our goal of unlocking 5G’s ability to power worldwide connectivity capabilities,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “At Qualcomm Technologies, we are committed to continuing the progression of 5G so we can in turn help drive innovation and economies worldwide.”
“As a long-term partner of ZTE, Qualcomm Technologies is working with us to promote technical verification and commercialization in the 5G development process,” said Mr. Bai Yanmin, general manager of RAN products at ZTE. “ZTE has always maintained an industry-leading position in terms of SA networking solution. This successful 5G VoNR call has taken an important step towards the commercial use of seamless native 5G voice experience, and will also strongly support the construction of 5G SA, so as to offer 5G to more service providers, enterprise users and consumers.”