Vodafone and Huawei test out 70GHz spectrum as race to develop 5G by 2020 continues
Vodafone and Huawei have achieved transmission rates of 20Gbps in 5G network tests and claim the use of the 70GHz band will help the mobile industry see how spectrum above 24GHz can be used to deliver the speeds and capacity required of next generation networks.
The majority of spectrum used in mobile networks today is below 3GHz because of the wide coverage it provides. For example, 800MHz, 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz are the bands used to power the UK’s 4G networks.
However 5G will rely on more ‘micro’ network technology such as small cells, making capacity a significant issue.
Read More: What is 5G and how is it different from 4G?
The band also permits objects near a receiver to reflect a second beam towards the receiver, a process known as Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO). Using MIMO, researchers were able to serve multiple users with 10Gbps.
The partners say the tests will help influence research into the standardisation of 5G and how spectrum will be harmonised. This is due to happen at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) World Radio Congress in 2019.
“This field test in an outdoor environment is a significant step forward in validating the performance of 5G in high frequency bands,” said Johan Wilberg, Vodafone Group CTO. “It has improved our understanding of the capabilities and opportunities that the technology offers.”
“5G will introduce full spectrum access to support AR, VR, Smart Automobile and other unknown new services,” added Eric Xu, the rotating CEO of Huawei The joint trial of 5G mmWave connectivity in a real world radio propagation environment and co-existence of different radio links is encouraging.
The feat was achieved at Vodafone’s headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire, where it has also partnered with Huawei to open the ‘NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) Open Lab’. NB-IoT is a proposed Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology, which makes it more efficient to connect devices that require long battery life or are in hard to reach areas using existing cellular networks.