China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) says it has successfully completed “end-to-end” 5G network testing in a lab using a CPE device, indicating that CMHK intends to launch 5G initially as a fixed-wireless service.
The CPE device in question is a Wi-Fi device backhauled by 5G. The CMHK press release says this counts as having “successfully built a 5G network that enables end-to-end connectivity to the Internet” because it enables any Wi-Fi-enabled device to connect to 5G via the CPE device. (See what they did there? – Ed.)
CMHK said that 5G CPE home devices is the way to go for early 5G services because 5G compatible smartphones won’t be commercially available until at least the second half of next year.
Meanwhile, CMHK also said it has “successfully implemented 5G networks in a static environment” using 28-GHz spectrum, along with 800MHz bandwidth and 4×4 MIMO technology, hitting data speeds of 14 Gbps. The cellco added that it has managed to achieve indoor data speeds of 700 Mbps using 100 MHz of bandwidth in the 3.5-GHz spectrum band.
CMHK plans to build a 28-GHz 5G network in selected locations by the end of this year for field tests, though the 28 GHz spectrum has been allocated for test purposes only. At the end of last month, the Communications Authority officially proposed to allocate mmWave spectrum free of charge in April 2019, but the proposal is still in the public-consultation stage.
CMHK also says it’s working with partners to develop smart-city related applications – such as smart lamp posts – to facilitate 5G network construction and apps development. CMHK launched a 5G lab earlier this year to allow cross-industry collaboration on 5G research and innovation.