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Huawei and NTT conduct 5G radio access field trials

Huawei and NTT Docomo have successfully completed the world’s first large-scale field trial of 5G radio access technologies

Chinese networking hardware and services supplier Huawei and Japan’s largest mobile services provider, NTT Docomo, have successfully conducted an outdoor field trial of 5G radio access technology in Chengdu, China.

During the demonstration, the partners used multi-user multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO) technology, with a concurrent connectivity of 24 devices in the macro-cell environment on the sub-6GHz frequency band. The cell average downlink throughput of MU-MIMO is over 10 times as fast as single-layer single-user MIMO technology.

It also validated the performance of two 5G air interface technologies: Sparse code multiple access (SCMA) – previously demonstrated in controlled conditions at the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre in Guildford; and filtered orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (F-OFDM). 

As part of the trial, Huawei also live-streamed video of the activity to its booth at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (Ceatec) Japan 2015 trade show in Chiba, Japan, where it showed off a 5G SU-MIMO prototype operating on 200MHz bandwidth of sub-6GHz spectrum with a peak rate reaching 10Gbps.

MU-MIMO, F-OFDM and SCMA are expected to be very important to enabling the higher-spectrum efficiency that will be needed to enhance mobile broadband, and enabling machine-to-machine (M2M) and mission-critical communications across 5G networks when they are finally deployed between five and 10 years from now.

Huawei said the trial was a key step towards accelerating the standardisation and commercialisation of 5G mobile networks.

“As the first in the world to succeed with such a large multi-user environment test, this is an important milestone,” said Takehiro Nakamura, vice-president and managing director of NTT Docomo’s 5G laboratory.

“This is very encouraging as the industry works to commercialise 5G by 2020. Both Huawei and Docomo teams have made tremendous efforts. I look forward to even more impressive results when we move to the next phase of field trial in Japan,” he added.

“This joint field trial represents a significant advance towards fulfilling Huawei’s commitment to developing 5G technology standards before 2018,” added Wen Tong, Huawei fellow and CTO of Huawei Wireless Networks.

“Results like these show we are making rapid progress and are on the right path. I am confident that what we have learned here will be reflected in even more innovative technological advances as we continue working on 5G research,” he said.

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