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NTT DoCoMo and Mitsubishi Electric hit 27Gbps 5G speeds in car

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NTT DoCoMo has announced attaining 5G speeds of 27Gbps during outdoor trials with Mitsubishi Electric in Kamakura, in Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture.

According to the Japanese carrier, this was the world’s first 5G transmission to exceed a peak speed of 20Gbps using one terminal, with a communication distance of 10 metres attaining the 27Gbps speed, and a speed of 25Gbps over 100 metres.

NTT DoCoMo used the 28GHz millimetre-wave (mmWave) frequency band, massive-element antenna systems, and 16-beam spatial multiplexing technology with 500MHz bandwidth, which they said could be used to transmit high-speed connectivity to vehicles with multiple passengers such as trains and buses.

“Base-station antennas installed on the wall of a building directed beams to mobile-terminal antennas installed on the rooftop of a vehicle,” the companies said, explaining that massive-element antenna systems technology allow for several data streams to be transmitted in parallel.

“The mobile terminal moved along two different streets. The distance of one mobile terminal was 10m from the base station and the distance for the other was 100m.”

According to the two companies, they attained the high speeds by developing more advanced beam-forming technology.

“Mitsubishi Electric and DoCoMo developed beam-forming technology in an analog domain and inter-beam interference reduction technology to suitably separate overlapping beams with digital signal processing at the base station. The result is 16-beam spatial multiplexing, which has been unachievable with 4G,” they explained.

“The developed beam-forming technology enables beams to track a mobile terminal by switching the preset beam. The inter-beam interference reduction technology estimates the channel at the base station and controls the transmitting signal to adaptively reduce inter-beam interference as channel conditions over time. Together, the two technologies enable 16-beam spatial multiplexing in outdoor mobile environments.”

They will next conduct indoor trials before the end of March, with the R&D project being the result of a commission by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications to look into Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology for 5G.

NTT DoCoMo has actively been working to push 5G capabilities, completing trials of 5G integrated access backhaul (IAB) technology with Chinese networking giant Huawei in May, which it said increases the wireless coverage of mmWave spectrum.

The field trial used the 39GHz band and was undertaken in Yokohama CBD Minato Mirai 21, testing wireless backhaul between an IAB donor 5G base station and an IAB or 5G relay node, which was able to connect wirelessly with mobile user equipment.

IAB technology reduces interference and allows for simultaneous data transmissions over the same frequency, the telco said.

Huawei and NTT DoCoMo had similarly tested 5G in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai 21 District back in 2016, attaining 11.29Gbps throughput speeds and latency of less than 0.5ms during a field trial.

That trial had used the 4.5GHz spectrum band, along with a macro cell with one base station and 23 user equipment devices.

Huawei and NTT DoCoMo signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2014, which also saw the companies conduct an outdoor field trial of Massive MIMO in Chengdu, China.

The Japanese telco giant earlier this year also announced reaching a 5G equipment supply deal with NEC Corporation, with NTT DoCoMo planning to launch its new mobile network in 2020.

Under the deal, NEC will provide control units for 5G base stations as well as using software upgrades to ensure NTT DoCoMo’s existing base stations and telco equipment are compatible with 5G.

NEC had in February used Mobile World Congress 2018 to announce that it would be undertaking verification experiments alongside NTT DoCoMo on 5G wireless technologies at the Yokosuka Research Park and NEC’s Tamagawa Plant.

Following the standardisation of 5G NR specs in December, NTT DoCoMo, NEC Corporation, and Huawei all announced the beginning of the full-scale development of 5G NR including large-scale trials and commercial deployment, along with Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, AT&T, BT, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, KT Corporation, LG Electronics, LG Uplus, MediaTek, Orange, Qualcomm, SK Telecom, Sony Mobile Communications, Sprint, TIM, Telefonica, Telia Company, T-Mobile USA, Verizon, Vodafone, and ZTE.

NTT DoCoMo has also been involved in testing 5G with Ericsson, Nokia, and Intel.

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Polestar 2 adds a video streaming app to pass the time while charging

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Polestar is adding a video streaming app to the Android Automotive OS dashboard of the Polestar 2, though as you’d hope the EV has some strict limits on playback depending on whether you’re driving or not. Currently in beta, the Polestar 2 video app is designed to give drivers something to occupy themselves as they wait at public chargers.

Certainly, the growing number of DC fast chargers available in the wild have helped with cutting down that time. So, too, has Polestar’s incremental update to just how fast the EV actually tops-up, with an OTA firmware update back in February 2021 nudging the charging rate to 155 kW from the 150 kW it launched with.

All the same, even if you find such a charger, it’s still going to take you longer to top-up than pumping gas might. European Polestar 2 owners will now be able to entertain themselves with some video as they hang out in the cabin.

There’ll be a choice of news programming and national TV broadcasts, where available, Polestar says, along with a video playlist which is curated by the automaker. To begin with there’ll be SVT in Sweden, TV2 in Norway, and GOPlay and RTBF in Belgium. All European market also receive feeds from BBC Ideas, Al Jazeera English, and Germany’s tagesschau. More options will be added over time.

What you won’t be able to do, though, is play video while you’re actually driving. The Polestar video app can be accessed when the EV is parked; switching out of Park and into Drive or Reverse will automatically flip the stream into audio-only mode. That way you can hear the show, but not see it on-screen which could be a source of driver distraction.

How well it goes down with owners, meanwhile, remains to be seen, and indeed Polestar is seeing this beta version as a way to test out the popularity of new features. “We will receive feedback – both good and bad – that will help to refine the app based on thousands of use cases, rather than a small, defined set,” Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, explains. “We will also continue to add channels in the future, which gives the app huge growth potential since it is realistically able to integrate any web-based streams.”

Sweetening the deal is the fact that viewers won’t have to pay extra for the data used by streaming, since that will be included in the car’s own data plan.

It’s unclear when – or even if – the app will come to Polestar 2 cars in North America. Current legislation certainly doesn’t prevent it, with Tesla already offering streaming on its EVs, though again with limits on when you can watch depending on whether the car is in motion. We’ve got a request in with Polestar for more information, and will update when we hear back.

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Brembo introduces G Sessanta Concept brake caliper for motorcycles

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Italian braking expert Brembo is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Commemorating this glorious event is the brand’s newest brake caliper concept for motorcycles. The latest G Sessanta Concept is unlike any brake caliper you’ve seen before. Embodying the desirable traits of a genuine concept, G Sessanta is Brembo’s vision for the future of mobility.

The Brembo G Sessanta Concept has innovative LED lighting technology that is purpose-built on the body of the caliper. It not only enhances form and function but it serves as a communication interface for the driver. “The light takes Brembo’s experience in the use of color to a higher level, giving it new values,” according to Brembo’s PR.

Wireless technology is at the heart of G Sessanta. The colors and lighting effects can be personalized using your smartphone or gadget. You can choose from changing lighting moods or allow the system to select the lighting effects based on existing surroundings.

What’s more, it can relay warning lights to the driver, like when the brake pads need replacing. And if you find it tricky discerning your bike from hundreds of others in a parking lot, G Sessanta can emit a courtesy light to point you in the right direction.

Brembo has been setting new standards in braking technology since the brand’s inception in 1961. Born in Paladina, Italy, Brembo’s 46-year motorsports history is a testament to the brand’s commitment towards performance and innovation. The Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing has optional Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes with copper-free brake pads and electronic sensors to monitor the brake pad thickness, all while weighing 64 pounds less than cast-iron brakes.

However, will Brembo’s G Sessanta Concept make it to four-wheeled conveyances? We’ll have to wait and see, and it’s interesting to witness how lighting or wireless technology can benefit auto brakes, as well. Still, it’s good to know that significant OEM and aftermarket suppliers are infusing new technology into their products.

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The Citroën Ami Cargo is an electric microvan for small business errands

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You’ve probably heard of the Citroën Ami EV, a micro EV that’s small enough to be driven by 14-year-old teeny boppers without a full driving license – in France, at least. Nevertheless, the Ami is a brilliant and dirt-cheap city car with a conscience. And now, Citroën has unveiled the microvan version of the Ami, which makes it doubly desirable.

The Citroën Ami Cargo offers all the little goodness of a regular Ami, but it has small or micro-enterprises in mind. “Inspired by the version designed for individuals, My Ami Cargo retains the idea that guided the design of Ami,” said Richard Meyer, Stellantis Commercial Vehicles Strategy and New Mobilities manager.

Small on the outside yet big on the inside, Citroën Ami Cargo has a vertical partition and modular shelves to store cargo boxes, plants, small kennels, and whatever you fancy. The modular rack can hold 40 kg of weight and has a flat top to form a mobile desk. “This is why we created an innovative interior space, allowing us to make an offer that’s unique on the market while retaining the simplicity and clever design of the Ami,” added Meyer.

What’s more, Citroën’s electric microvan has a flat floor with two levels of height adjustment, allowing you to carry taller objects up to 1.2-meters. All told, Citroën Ami Cargo can accommodate up to 400 liters or 140 kilos (308 pounds) of stuff. In the rear, it also has a closed storage box to secure valuable things like smartphones, tablets, small laptops, and parking tickets.

Otherwise, the cargo version remains a basic Ami minus the passenger seat. It still measures 2.4-meters by 1.4-meters, perfect for tight parking spots. It has a single electric motor and a 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery. It only has eight horsepower, but how many horses do you need to motivate a tiny van?

As it turns out, it doesn’t take much. The 6 kW electric motor enables a modest 30 mph (45 km/h) top speed, so don’t expect to be blown away like in a Tesla Model Y. The tiny battery achieves 47 miles of range on a good day. But when the battery runs out of juice, it replenishes in just three hours using a primary 220V domestic socket.

Also, the Citroën Ami Cargo is endlessly customizable to fit any purpose. The best part is the price: You can purchase the Ami Cargo in France for as low as €6,490 ($7,800) with a €900 ($1,081) deductible, or you can rent it as part of a long-term lease agreement starting at under €25 ($30) monthly

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