Optus and DoCoMo reveal separate 5G trial results with Huawei

A scene from the MU-MIMO trial with DoCoMo and Huawei at the Minato Mirai 21 waterfront of Yokohama (Source: Huawei)

Australian telco Optus and Japanese cellco NTT DoCoMo have separately announced successful tests of 5G technologies, both of them involving gear from Huawei Technologies.

The Optus 5G trial took place in Sydney, with the objective of exploring spectrum efficiency at mmWave frequencies (specifically, the 73-GHz band). Result: a single user transmission rate of 35 Gbps, which Optus says is the single user transmission speed over 5G achieved in Australia to date.

The trial was a localized initiative as part of the 5G collaboration MoU between Optus parent company Singtel and Huawei, and utilized technologies such as mmWave and Polar code.

“Australia is well positioned to take a pioneering role in the development of 5G technologies globally,” said Dennis Wong, acting managing director of Optus Networks. “The possibilities with 5G are endless. Through our strategic partnership with Huawei we are undertaking the necessary preparation, testing and trials to tackle the 5G opportunity head on.”

Last month, Optus implemented cloud baseband technology with Huawei which pushed peak speeds through inter-site carrier aggregation at the AFL Grand Final. Next year, Optus plans to deploy coordinated heterogeneous network and trial massive MIMO – technologies that it says are a pre-cursor to 5G’s Joint Reception and Massive MIMO concept.

Multi-user MIMO in Yokohama

Meanwhile, NTT DoCoMo and Huawei announced that DoCoMo had conducted “the world’s first 5G large-scale field trial in the 4.5 GHz band” using new numerology and frame structure specified under the current 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) agreements.

The outdoor data-transmission trial with Huawei – conducted from October 3 to 26 – involved 23 simultaneously connected mobile devices and achieved a cumulative 11.29 Gbps of data throughput and latency below 0.5 seconds in the 4.5-GHz band.

The trial – which utilized one base station with 200 MHz worth of bandwidth and 64 TRXs – combined multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology for simultaneous multiple access and a precoding algorithm that optimizes signals for maximized performance and also limits inter-user interference.

It achieved a MU-MIMO transmission of a maximum 79.82 bps/Hz/cell, which is 1.8 times more efficient than an outdoor trial conducted in China in November 2015.

DoCoMo said the MU-MIMO trial was carried out in a field measuring 100,000 square meters, equivalent to 12 soccer pitches, in the Minato Mirai 21 waterfront of Yokohama.

“Our success in 5G large-scale field trial in the 4.5 GHz band brought the whole industry one step closer to 5G commercialization by 2020,” said Takehiro Nakamura, vice president and managing director of NTT DoCoMo’s 5G Laboratory. “DoCoMo and Huawei have been expanding their collaboration on 5G from R&D to international spectrum harmonization initiatives for 5G since December 2014. Together with Huawei, we will continue to promote 5G both from a technical and ecosystem perspective.”

Yan Jun, Managing Director of Huawei’s Carrier Business Group said Huawei has committed to invest a minimum of $600 million in 5G research and innovation by 2018.

5G moves fast in Fuji Speedway

In related news, DoCoMo also announced that it has successfully achieved a data speed of more than 2.5 Gbps with a mobile device in a vehicle travelling 150km/h in a joint 5G trial with Samsung Electronics.

The trial took place on November 7 in Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture. Transmissions were conducted using the 28-GHz band, one of the candidate bands that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is considering to designate for commercial 5G networks in Japan.

DoCoMo said the trial verified the feasibility of stable connectivity for 5G mobile devices in fast-moving trains. From the release:

To date, no test had achieved a successful wireless data transmission to a fast-moving device due to the large path-loss of high-frequency radio signals. In this trial, however, the problem was overcome with massive MIMO technologies that incorporate beamforming, which concentrates radio waves in a specific direction, and beam tracking, which adjusts the beam according to the fast-moving mobile device’s location.

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