Samsung Electronics and MediaTek have successfully conducted 5G standalone (SA) uplink tests, using three transmit (3Tx) antennas instead of the typical two, to demonstrate the potential for improved upload experiences with current smartphones and customer premise equipment (CPE).
Until recently, most talk about 5G SA industry firsts have focused on the downlink. However, the demands on uplink performance are increasing with the rise of live streaming, multi-player gaming and video conferences. Upload speeds determine how fast your device can send data to gaming servers or transmit high-resolution videos to the cloud. As more consumers seek to document and share their experiences with the world in real-time, enhanced uplink experiences provide an opportunity to use the network to improve how they map out their route home, check player stats online and upload videos and selfies to share with friends and followers.
While current smartphones and customer premise equipment (CPEs) can only support 2Tx antennas, this industry-first demonstration validated the enhanced mobile capability of 3Tx antenna support. This approach not only improves upload speeds but also enhances spectrum and data transmission efficiency, as well as overall network performance.
The test was conducted in Samsung’s lab, based in Suwon, Korea. Samsung provided its industry-leading 5G network solutions, including its C-Band Massive MIMO radios, virtualized Distributed Unit (vDU) and core. The MediaTek test device featuring its new M80-based CPE chipset began with one uplink channel apiece at 1,900MHz and 3.7GHz, but added an extra uplink flow using MIMO on 3.7GHz. Both companies achieved a peak throughput rate of 363Mbps, an uplink speed that is near theoretical peak using 3Tx antennas.
“We are excited to have successfully achieved this industry breakthrough with MediaTek, bringing greater efficiency and performance to consumer devices,” said Dongwoo Lee, Head of Technology Solution Group, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “Faster uplink speeds bring new possibilities and have the potential to transform user experiences. This milestone further demonstrates our commitment to improving our customers’ networks using the most advanced technology available.”
“Enhancing uplink performance using groundbreaking tri-antenna and 5G UL infrastructure technologies will ensure next-generation 5G experiences continue to impress users globally,” said HC Hwang, General Manager of Wireless Communication System and Partnership at MediaTek. “Our collaboration with Samsung has proved our combined technical capabilities to overcome previous limits, enhancing network performance and efficiency, opening up new possibilities for service providers and consumers to enjoy faster and more reliable 5G data connectivity.”
“With demands on mobile networks rising, enhancing upload performance is essential to improving consumer and enterprise connectivity, as well as application experiences,” said Will Townsend, VP & Principal Analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “Samsung and MediaTek have achieved an important 5G Standalone milestone in a demonstration which underscores a tangible network benefit and does so in a way that can help operators maximize efficiency.”
Samsung has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions, including chipsets, radios and core. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio, from virtualized RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company currently provides network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users worldwide.