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Samsung breaks 8Gbps barrier for 5G downloads

Comms tech provider lays claim to fastest downlink speeds recorded using a single user device during tests based on 5G standalone dual connectivity that aggregates mmWave and mid-band spectrum

Continuing its work on next-generation wireless which saw the tech firm and its partners make important progress in download and upload speeds in 2021, Samsung claims to have successfully demonstrated 5G standalone (SA) dual connectivity that aggregated mmWave and mid-band spectrum to reach speeds of 8.08Gbps.

The latest test was conducted in Samsung’s Plano, Texas, lab, resulting in what it claims is the fastest downlink speeds recorded using a single user device.

The test used new radio dual connectivity (NR-DC) technology to combine 800MHz of 5G mmWave spectrum and 100MHz of mid-band spectrum. Samsung solutions included its fully virtualised RAN and Core, mmWave 5G Compact Macro and massive MIMO radio, featuring Qualcomm 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) technology for enhanced performance.

Using 256 QAM boosted downlink speeds by more than 30% compared with 64QAM. The smartphone test device used was powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System.

As a measure of its progress, Samsung noted that the development followed its October milestone in 5G uplink speeds, when it achieved 711Mbps in a lab trial using aggregated bands of mmWave spectrum. This progress, it said at the time, opened up new possibilities for 5G use cases in 2022.

Emphasising the real-world benefits of the new upload and download speeds, Samsung said such high performance was beginning to have an impact on both consumer and business experiences, and that conducting tests that explore 5G speed-enhancing technologies was important for evolving the technology and experiences.

Samsung said reaching an 8Gbps downlink meant significant advantage for real-world users. For example, in its work with the US Department of Defense, it has created a 5G testbed to bring augmented reality (AR) to military training. It also noted that high speeds will also be important in downloading high-quality 4K and 8K video across many users simultaneously, translating to success stories across industries such as public safety, manufacturing and transportation.

Samsung was also serving up higher speeds for improving the ability to download content on subways in Seoul, Korea, and trials recently showed how 5G could be used as backhaul for Wi-Fi connections in a moving train across subway stations in Korea.

“Combining the C-Band and mmWave spectrum using NR-DC aggregation has allowed us to expand the possibilities of 5G’s potential to the user,” commented Farook Hussan, senior director of technology, networks business, at Samsung Electronics America.

“Our earlier trial reached a new milestone for uplink speeds, and now, with this new achievement in hitting 8Gbps+ download speeds, Samsung is excited to help mobile operators and enterprises pave the way towards next-generation use cases leveraging AR/VR, enhanced video, analytics and other high-capacity applications.”

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