Huawei is to conduct field trials of 5G Radio Access Technologies (RAT) associated with new air-interface technologies in China and Japan in partnership with Japanese mobile service provider NTT Docomo.
The two firms announced their partnership on the official opening day of Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona.
The aim of the tests, which will be carried out in outdoor environments, will be to validate foundational radio access technologies for future 5G networks.
Speaking at a Mobile World Congress kick-off event last week, Huawei executive director and president of products and solutions, Ryan Ding, said he expected that, besides advanced mobile economies such as South Korea and Japan, 5G will be adopted early in Europe, with tests likely by the end of the decade.
Expected to have 1,000 times the capacity and 100 times the speed of 4G LTE, 5G will enable unprecedented levels of connectivity for the billions of devices expected to go online in the next few years, and will help the internet of things become a mass-market concept.
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2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games
Huawei has targeted Japan for its trials because it would like to have 5G rolled out in that market in time for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. It has signed up to Japan’s 5G Mobile Communications Promotion Forum – a joint project between academia, government and industry – to help in this aim.
The field trials will examine the potential of air-interface technology, focusing on the sub-6GHz spectrum.
Huawei said the experimental system would test the spectrum-agnostic RAT alongside Massive MIMO radio and advanced algorithms to validate end-user speeds.
“5G is the cornerstone for building a better connected world and transforming our life and work for decades to come. To make the 5G market a reality, we need a joint effort across the industry and ecosystem,” said Ding.
Seizo Onoe, CTO at NTT Docomo, said: “NTT Docomo is constantly working to advance core technologies that bring the best communication experience to its customers.
“From this standpoint, we are pleased to extend our innovation partnership with Huawei into the field of 5G.”
Huawei plans to invest $600m in 5G technology R&D over the next three years. In the UK it has invested £5m in a 5G innovation centre at the University of Surrey.