South Korea telco LG U+ and its wireless network equipment partner Huawei confirmed that they have completed what they say is the world’s first large-scale 5G network test in a pre-commercial environment. The test network was situated in the Gangnam District of Seoul, South Korea and consisted of both 3.5GHz and 28GHz base stations (the two most popular frequency bands for 5G globally so far).
The partners said the test also helped to successfully verify the technologies of UHD (4K) IPTV video and other commercial 5G services in a typical dense, urban environment. High-speed mobility, dual connectivity, and inter-cell handovers under continuous networking conditions were also validated.
LG U+ reported that the test results for the end-to-end network trial returned average data rates of 1Gbit/s over the 3.5GHz frequency band and more than 5Gbit/s for dual connectivity over both high and low bands.
During the trial in a typical dense urban area, the companies achieved average data rates of 1Gbps over the low band and more than 5Gbps for dual connectivity under both low and high bands. A peak data rate of 20Gbps was attained through this dual connectivity.
“The world’s first large-scale joint 5G pre-commercial test indicated a significant breakthrough in 5G,” said Kim Dae Hee, VP of the 5G Strategy Unit at LG U+. “We believe that Huawei is set to help LG U+ implement the world’s first Commercial 5G network over 3.5GHz”
LG U+ took to the road with its 5G Tour Bus to showcase 4K IPTV (picture below). It also demonstrated a VR drone designed by Huawei’s Wireless X Labs and kitted out with what the vendor says is the world’s first 5G customer premise equipment (CPE) operating in the 3.5GHz band. The demonstration reportedly showed throughput speeds of up to 1.5Gbit/s whilst the drone was flying at an altitude of over 100m.
“In the Gangnam District of Korea, we have successfully validated the 5G pre-commercial network and released the world’s first 3.5GHz CPE.,” said Zhou Yuefeng, CMO of Huawei’s Wireless Product Line.
“This demonstrates that Huawei will maintain its capability to provide competitive E2E 5G network products in 2018. LG U+ and Huawei will continue to conduct further research into 5G technologies and build a robust E2E industry ecosystem to achieve business success in the upcoming 5G era.”
The test results returned average data rates of 1 Gbps over the low band and more than 5 Gbps for dual connectivity over high and low bands. A peak data rate of 20 Gbps and an average data rate of more than 5 Gbps were achieved through dual connectivity over 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz. During the test, a 5G tour bus delivered 5G-based IPTV 4K, and a VR drone was demonstrated in the ‘5G for All’ experience room at the LG U+ headquarters, which required data rates ranging from 20 Mbps to 100 Mbps.
- South Korea’s mobile network operators are expected to roll out trial 5G services in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics. SK Telecom (SKT) completed a successful test of five-band carrier aggregation (5C). SK Telecom, KT and LG U+‘ launched the world’s first commercial interconnected VoLTE service.
- South Korea’s mobile market has slow growth over the last few years due to a highly mature market. Organic growth by the three main mobile operators, together with the multitude of niche MVNOs will result in further growth to 2018 however growth rates will taper off further over the next few years as the market further matures. Market penetration reached 117% in 2016 and is predicted to reach between 119% and 122% by 2021 driven by the uptake of both 4G and 5G services. The split in mobile operator market share has remained relatively constant over the last two decades. LG U+ (formerly known as LG Telecom) has made a marginal increase in market share over that time.