SmarTone and Ericsson conducted what they say is the city’s first demonstration of 5G technology as they announced a five-year partnership to develop an open mobile technology innovation hub to drive innovation in 4.5G/5G use cases and vertical applications.
The 5G technology demo is run from a 5G base station, next-generation antenna and a test mobile station. Use case demos include “real-time cloud analytics” and “real-time robotic remote control via HD video”.
The 5G demo “is a significant milestone in our joint vision to shape the next-generation mobile experience, to build the industry’s best network and lead Hong Kong’s journey towards 5G,” said Stephen Chau, Chief Technology Officer at SmarTone. “Our innovation hub will see SmarTone and Ericsson forge collaboration with other industry and technology leaders to usher in a new era of mobile possibilities for consumers and businesses.”
Commercial-ready 5G services are not expected until 2020, but SmarTone said it is committed to exploring all possibilities to constantly evolve and improve the mobile experience through network and service innovation.
SmarTone also demonstrated an example of pre-standard License Assisted Access (LAA) technology, which leverages existing licensed and unlicensed spectrum to enhance the network to deliver superior 4.5G performance to customers.
Work is already underway with SmarTone’s recent extension of 4.5G network coverage to the MTR’s new South Island Line, including Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang, Lei Tung and South Horizons stations.
By aggregating existing 900-MHz, 1800-MHz, 2600-MHz spectrum and the additional 2100-MHz spectrum on the MTR, SmarTone says it aims to provide customers with an even faster, smoother and more stable mobile experience.