5G users ‘may consume 10Gbps each’, say Vodafone and Huawei

19 July 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Vodafone and Huawei say 5G trials at 70GHz show speeds of 20Gpbs, with each user having download speeds of 10Gbps.

Fifth-generation wireless networks will be able to deliver data at speeds of 20Gbps, supporting multiple users at speeds of 10Mbps each, according to a live trial by Vodafone and Huawei.

If these speeds are realised in commercial operation, expected from 2020 onwards, 5G networks will vastly increase demands on backhaul networks and international wholesale networks.

Vodafone and equipment vendor Huawei say they have already demonstrated such speeds in a 5G field trial at Vodafone’s Newbury site in the UK, working on 70GHz spectrum.

Johan Wibergh, the former Ericsson executive who is now Vodafone’s group chief technology officer, said: “This field test in an outdoor environment is a significant step forward in validating the performance of 5G in high frequency bands.”

Eric Xu, Huawei’s current rotating CEO, said: “The joint trial of 5G [millimetre wave] connectivity in a real world radio propagation environment and co-existence of different radio links is encouraging. I highly value the cooperation with Vodafone, and believe we will achieve more progress in 5G, together with Vodafone and other industry partners.”

Wibergh added: “It has improved our understanding of the capabilities and opportunities that the technology offers.”

The trial could also be seen as a powerful move by two of the biggest companies in the industry to push the global spectrum regulators’ ideas of usable frequency bands.

The trial frequency of 70GHz is considerably above the bands used today for 3G and 4G. “In order to find much greater bandwidth, the industry is assessing a number of candidate bands above 24GHz which have been identified by the World Radio Congress,” said Vodafone. “It is at these frequencies that the greatest bandwidth can be found and where 5G will deliver the highest data rates. One of the bands currently being considered is at a frequency of 70GHz.”