Telecommunications firm ZTE Corporation recently announced successful completion of various 5G tests conducted in Huairou in Beijing, and they were able to set several new records for network speeds and performance in the process.
The tests, which are part of the second phase of China’s National 5G tests, included tests for continuous wide coverage, eMBB (enhanced mobile broadband) at sub-6Ghz, eMBB at millimeter-wave frequencies, uRLLC (ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications), eMTC (massive Machine Type Communications) and two additional hybrid scenarios.
In the eMBB at sub-6Ghz test, ZTE was able to provide a peak cell throughput of over 19 Gbps, a new industry record. ZTE’s system is said to have overcome the limitations of standard interfaces. It was also able to provide more spatial division streams (28 streams) than the industry’s standard value (16 streams). This technology will be particularly beneficial to densely-populated urban locations in the country, and is a clear testament to the company’s leadership in 5G eMBB scenarios.
In the eMBB at millimeter-wave frequencies test, ZTE was able to achieve a 4-stream rate of 13 Gbps (the standard is 10 Gbps) even when a single test terminal only supported a bandwidth lower than 1 GHz. ZTE set another new record in this test and more importantly, they are showing the way towards the development and commercialization of high-frequency mobile communications.
In the uRLLC test, ZTE achieved a super-low latency of 0.416 ms based on a unified test platform. The current standard is 1 ms, which means another new industry record, and another important step that would bring 5G commercialization closer to being realized.
In the mMTC test, ZTE was able to increase the overload rate of connected terminals by 600%. This was made possible by using the MUSA (multi-user shared access) technology, which was able to provide 90 million connections/MHz/hour/km2 — higher by 90 times than the current standard of 1 million connections/square kilometres.
In the hybrid test scenarios, ZTE created a unified network that supported air interfaces in eMBB, mMTC, and uRLLC scenarios via network slicing and base stations at sub-6GHz. This enabled them to achieve flexible service configuration, allowing a cell to connect different service terminals. The highest cell rate reached was 15 Gbps; air interface latency was lower than 0.416 ms; and connectivity capacity reached a maximum of over 90 million connections/MHz/hour/km2. All three achievements are considered as breakthroughs in network air interface development.
All that technical jargon aside, the main thing about all these new breakthroughs is that ZTE is well on its way to achieving its goal of making 5G commercially available in China by 2020. And right now, no other company in China, or other parts of the world for that matter, comes close to making that same claim.