M1 and Huawei gear up to test 5G with 360-view VR broadcasts

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Singaporean cellco M1 and Huawei announced plans to jointly showcase local 5G use cases, starting with a live demonstration of 360-view VR broadcasts by end of this month.

The demo, using 5G equipment set up at M1’s MiWorld building in Jurong, will be an end-to-end live trial using Huawei’s equipment operating at the 28-GHz mmWave frequency band. Some element of that makes this demo a world-first, according to M1.

Immersive technologies and media such as VR, AR and MR (mixed reality) are extremely bandwidth-intensive and delay-sensitive, making them costly and technically challenging to stream or broadcast to a large number of users over existing cellular networks.

With 5G promising theoretical peak download throughput exceeding 20 Gbps, one potential use case is the live streaming and broadcasting of VR/AR/MR content. In the future smart classroom, for example, teachers could use the 5G network to share a 360-view AR/VR/MR video to a classroom of students.

“This live demo is a small but significant step in our journey towards next generation 5G mobile networks,” said Denis Seek, chief technical officer at M1.

M1 and Huawei have planned a number of key initiatives over the next 18 months to validate the latest 5G specifications as soon as commercial equipment based on the recently finalized 3GPP standards is available for live deployment. Besides the end-to-end 5G live test, the companies plan to kick off the first 3.5-GHz Non-Standalone (NSA) field trial in Southeast Asia by the end of this year, as well as the first 28-GHz and 3.5-GHz Standalone (SA) field trial in Southeast Asia by mid-2019.

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