KDDI and Samsung demo mmWave 5G handover on Tokyo expressway

Credit: Sean Pavone /

KDDI and Samsung Electronics announced they have successfully completed what they say is Japan’s first ever 5G multi-cell handover test using the 28-GHz spectrum band in a real outdoor environment – specifically, on Tokyo’s metropolitan expressway amongst towering skyscrapers.

The 5G handover was carried out in a test divided into two scenarios, the first being a 5G device mounted on a vehicle that travelled at a speed limit of 60 km/h drove between two 5G base stations on a metro expressway.

The second scenario was designed to verify the characteristics and performance of the 28-GHz band in line of sight (LOS) and non line of sight (NLOS) environments. Metro Tokyo has plenty of both, as it is packed with skyscrapers and a myriad of obstacles of various materials, from glass and concrete to wood and metals.

As 5G communication technology utilizes beam forming technology that tightly focuses radio waves into narrow beams, both the device and base station need to rapidly search for the optimal beam combination, calculate the ideal radio signal, and seamlessly relay data traffic between base stations.

In the LOS environment, the vehicle drove through the heart of the city, achieving maximum throughput of 3.7 Gbps.

“We are pleased to have proven the feasibility of 5G mobility service in Tokyo, one of the densest cities in the world,” said WooJune Kim, VP and head of Next Generation Strategy at Samsung Electronics. “Through today’s demonstration, we have proven that challenges that are likely to occur in highly dense metropolitan areas can be successfully overcome when the right technologies are implemented.”

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