Viavi Solutions has released new industry data on the state of 5G trials globally – “The State of 5G Trials”.
According to the data released – 25 mobile operators have already announced that they are lab testing “5G”, despite 5G standards not being expected until 2020.
Among 25 MNOs, 12 report having progressed to field testing. An additional 4 operators have announced their plans for 5G trials.
Five operators have reached data speeds of 35 Gbps or more in 5G trials. To date, Etisalat has demonstrated the highest data speed of 36 Gbps, with Ooredoo conducting tests at 35.46 Gbps. Optus, M1 and Starhub have reached 35 Gbps, with all other operators conducting 5G trials reporting data transmission speeds of at least 2 Gbps.
It is clear that operators are testing across a wide range of bandwidths, ranging from sub-3 GHz to 86 GHz. Of the operators that have disclosed their test spectrum, currently the most commonly trialed wavelength is 28 GHz, with eight operators using it, as well as 15 GHz, which is being used in trials by seven operators.
Currently, five major network equipment providers have announced that they are involved in 5G trials: Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE. While some operators are using just one network equipment provider in their trials, many are using multiple vendors during trial stages. KT Corporation (formerly Korea Telecom) is including all five network equipment providers in its trials.
“The pace of 5G development is already beyond the expectations of many observers,” said Sameh Yamany, Chief Technology Officer, Viavi Solutions. “Now, as the technical delivery of data is starting to coalesce, it is time to think ahead to how future 5G networks can manage the disparate requirements of high data rates, very low latency applications and large-scale IoT services while maintaining Quality of Service (QoS). This underlines the importance of ‘network slicing’ whereby multiple cloud-based functions within a virtualized network can be automated and programmed to meet different use cases and requirements. Service providers and their partners will require solutions that are virtualized from one end of the network to the other and have automated and correlated intelligence across each network slice for monitoring, optimization and service assurance.”