Huawei and NTT Docomo, Japan's largest mobile service provider, have announced what they say is the world's first successful large-scale field trial of 5G new radio access technologies.
This, the companies said, was the first large-scale multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology test, with a concurrent connectivity of 24 user devices in the macro-cell environment on the sub-6 GHz frequency band. It is also the first time that the performance of sparse code multiple access (SCMA) and filtered OFDM (F-OFDM) in the field has been validated. Both of these techniques are 5G new air interface technologies proposed by Huawei.
"As the first in the world to succeed with such a large multi-user environment test, this is an important milestone," said Takehiro Nakamura, vice president and managing director of NTT Docomo's 5G Laboratory.
"This is very encouraging as the industry works to commercialise 5G by 2020. Both Huawei and Docomo teams have made tremendous efforts. I look forward to even more impressive results when we move to the next phase of field trial in Japan."
The current field trials are taking place at a dedicated test site in Chengdu that enables both companies to systematically verify these technologies, including MU-MIMO, F-OFDM and SCMA.
Integrating and testing the MU-MIMO, F-OFDM and SCMA as 5G new radio technologies is one of the keys to enabling higher spectrum efficiency for enhanced mobile broadband as well as to enable the massive machine-type communications and mission-critical reliable communications for 5G.
Huawei plans to launch the first 5G pilot networks with its partners in 2018, and aims to contribute to the 5G industry ecosystem to complete interoperability testing in 2019, and commercially launch 5G networks in 2020.
"This joint field trial represents a significant advance toward fulfilling Huawei's commitment to developing 5G technology standards before 2018," said Dr. Wen Tong, Huawei fellow and CTO of Huawei Wireless Networks.
"Results like these show we are making rapid progress and are on the right path. I am confident that what we have learned here will be reflected in even more innovative technological advances as we continue working on 5G research."