EE’s 5G mobile broadband trial delivers 2.8Gbps in test lab

Mobile operator EE joining hands with networking vendor Huawei, have tested their first 5G networking trial in its UK test lab. The trial has yeilded a consistent download speed of 2.8Gbps on an end-to-end 5G network, using an active antenna unit with 64×64 MIMO broadcasting. The virtualised 5G core network of EE was linked via 100MHz of the 3.5 GHz spectrum band, using the proof-of-concept 5G baseband unit of Huawei. The test delivered a consistent 2.8Gbps downlink throughput across the end-to-end 5G architecture and produced only sub-5ms latency times, rather than just across the air interface.

EE’s current architecture is aligned to Option 3 of 3GPP Release 15 standard, though due to be formally ratified in April next year, it is to be finalised next month. However, commercial deployments are not to begin until 2020, but that’s assuming regulator Ofcom will be able to resolve the current legal challenges faced by their related auction, involving spectrum bands similar to the one used in the test spectrum.

Director of Network Services & Devices at EE, Tom Bennett, said to ensure technology leadership they are using experience they hold in cutting-edge 4G tech. Their approach of dedicated partnership aims to ensure leadership in 5G, he added. The director pointed out that they have proven today the network architecture, which is a step forward and will drive the roll-out timetable, to be the first for 5G. On 16th November, the Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum will showcase the latest breakthroughs.

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