Nokia used its AirScale Massive MIMO 5G base station for the trial

Finnish vendor Nokia and test company Viavi Solutions have reached single-user downlink speeds of 1.6 Gbps in the last phase of China’s national 5G testing program.

The companies said that the achieved downlink speed is almost the theoretical peak throughput of a 4X4 multiple-input multiple-output configuration. Nokia used an AirScale Massive MIMO 5G base station that enabled the achievement with a 2.5 millisecond single-cycle frame structure.

Nokia said that this test shows the speed of 5G development and the huge potential of the technology, and “reflects the strong performance and processing capability of Nokia’s 5G [New Radio]-compatible Massive MIMO technology, and the good interoperability between our base station equipment and a third party UE to facilitate instrumentations.”

In August, Nokia and China Mobile completed a 5G single-user downlink test using a third party device.

The two companies said they achieved a peak data rate of 1.4 Gbps in the trial, which conformed with 3GPP-compliant 5G NR specifications and used a device from Prisma Telecom Testing. In the test, Nokia provided 5G NR massive multiple-input multiple-output equipment and 3GPP-compliant software.

China’s 5G test program

China’s IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group said it has completed a third phase of non-standalone trials, which were based on 3GPP’s Release 15 standards unveiled last year.

Tests in this phase included both indoor and outdoor trials, core network and base station functions. Huawei, ZTE and the China Information and Communication Technologies Group completed trials using the 3.5 GHz and 4.9 GHz frequency bands, according to the reports.

The IMT-2020 Promotion Group said that more than 20 companies participated in the third phase of China’s 5G trials, including Ericsson, Nokia Shanghai Bell, Samsung, Qualcomm, Intel and Rohde & Schwarz.

The group’s next step is to conduct interoperability tests on system and chip system terminals.

China’s 5G R&D tests started in 2016 and have involved three phases: key technologies testing, the verification of technology and solution and 5G system verification.

The IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group was jointly established in 2013 by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Science and Technology. Operators participating in the IMT-2020 Promotion Group include China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and Japanese telecoms operator NTT DoCoMo.

The IMT-2020 Promotion Group completed the initial phase of its trial program in 2016. That phase included testing wireless technologies including massive multiple-input-multiple-output, novel multiple access, new waveforms, advance coding, ultra-dense network implementations and high-frequency communications. The trial phase also included network slicing, edge computing and network function reconstruction. The second phase of the national 5G tests were fully completed during last year.

Earlier this year, the Chinese government authorized carriers to test 5G technology in major cities across the country. Under this initiative, state-run telcos have been deploying 5G networks in 16 cities to trial the technology.

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