AIS Thailand, Qualcomm and ZTE showcase 1st 5G NR-DC at 2.6GHz and 26GHZ

Advanced Info Service Pcl (AIS) Thailand [1.], Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and ZTE have jointly announced the world’s first 5G NR-DC (New Radio Dual Connectivity) [2.] showcase in the field with 2.6GHz and 26GHz.  The trial achieved 8.5Gbps peak downlink speed and 2.17Gbps peak uplink speed with a single mobile device.

Note 1.  AIS is Thailand’s largest mobile operator. It’s owned by INTOUCH Company (40.45%) and Singtel (23.32%)

Note 2. NR-DC is the use of two frequency bands in 3GPP’s 5G NR to improve coverage and data speeds.

As part of the joint effort, this collaboration combines two major 5G frequency bands, sub-6GHz and 26GHz (5G mmWave frequencies have yet to be standardized in ITU-R M.1036 by ITU-R WP5D), to enhance the capabilities of Thailand’s 5G network and extend the 5G application landscape.

The trial was conducted at the AIS commercial 5G site in Korat, Thailand, using a smartphone form-factor test device powered by Snapdragon® X65 5G Modem-RF System, and ZTE’s latest mmWave AAU network infrastructure equipment.

The NR-DC was implemented with one 100MHz carrier in 2.6GHz, and four 200MHz carriers in 26GHz. The test achieved 8.5Gbps peak downlink speed and 2.17Gbps peak uplink speed demonstrating the extraordinary capability and flexibility of NR-DC for diversified requirements from individual consumers and industry leaders.

This NR-DC showcase drives the commercial progress of 5G mmWave into the fast lane in Thailand. AIS, Qualcomm Technologies and ZTE are together committed to accelerating and growing 5G for capability enhancement, efficiency improvement and application boundary extension.

“AIS’s key goal is to develop the smart 5G network as a national infrastructure with investments of 30,000-35,000 MB,” Wasit Wattanasap, head of nationwide operation and support business unit at Advanced Info Service Pcl. (AIS), commented, “We are the licensee holding the most spectrum in low band, mid band and high band or mmWave, which has the outstanding feature of rapid data transmission with low latency. We have never stopped deploying innovations to level up the network, including 5G Non NSA/SA Voice over new radio (VoNR) and 5G carrier aggregation (CA), to provide increasingly improved experiences to Thai customers, which was our intention when we joined the auction for spectrum.”

“Most recently, we have continued our collaboration with ZTE and Qualcomm Technologies, to jointly trial 5G NR-DC technology. It is a crucial step to combine different 5G spectrum, 2600 MHz (mid Band) and 26GHz (high Band) in a world-first. This enables downloads of up to 8.5 Gbps, and uplinks of up to 2.17 Gbps. This trial gave us a wider channel for the signal and extremely low latency. For instance, there could be streaming games online (cloud game), controlling driverless vehicles and commanding robots remotely in real-time. Moreover, the trial supports the development of new models of chipsets in the future, to speed up data transfer even more.”

“This cooperation highlights how AIS is the only provider using its licensed spectrum of every waveband for development to support business growth in various dimensions. It is also continuous transformation and updates for Thai consumers. Taking this joint-trial as a good start, we are confident that AIS 5G network is ready to expand the use of mmWave technology and support growth of the business sector in various aspects,” concluded Wasit.

“Our collaboration with AIS and ZTE proves the feasibility of deploying 5G mmWave in Thailand,” said ST Liew, vice president, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies Asia-Pacific Pte. Ltd. and president, Qualcomm South East Asia. “Qualcomm Technologies believes that 5G mmWave will be the key to unlocking the full potential of 5G. The possibility is endless and we are proud to take the first step in bringing the full benefits of 5G mmWave to the country.”

“We’re pleased to work with AIS and Qualcomm Technologies to achieve this milestone, which lays a technology validation foundation for 5G mmWave commercialization,” said Mei Zhong Hua, senior vice president, ZTE Corporation. “With broader 5G opportunities enabled by mmWave, we will join hands with partners to continuously drive mmWave development, create ultimate experiences and usher in a wonderful 5G era.”