Not wanting to be left out of the leading next-generation wireless broadband pack, Vodafone has published a blog about its latest 5G field tests and it makes for interesting reading.
Working with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Vodafone says it set up a high frequency trial system operating at 70GHz and managed to achieve a data rate of 23.453 Gbit/s "and support multiple users that receive 10 Gbit/s each."
In the corporate blog, David Lister, 5G Research Manager at Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), notes that the test results show that "it's possible to deliver an extremely high level of performance for an individual link, such as backhauling data between two locations, or supporting a large number of connections in small areas such as stadia or train stations."
Vodafone is working with a small number of key technology partners to plan a path to 5G: Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm Technologies and, of course, Huawei are the mobile giant's 5G partners.
Vodafone, of course, isn't the only operator working hard to figure out how to make a seamless move into a 5G world: SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) has just announced further trials and plans to build a pre-commercial 5G network as soon as 2017. (See SK Telecom Targets Pre-Commercial 5G Deployment In 2017.)
The communications industry has identified 2020 as the year in which 5G will go mainstream but it's clear that some of the more progressive operators (with the R&D resources to match their ambitions) might be ready to put technologies such as network slicing, virtualized radio access functions and millimeter wave (mmWave) high-frequency radios to commercial use before then: quite when end user devices might be ready for the mass market is much more open to debate.
To keep up to date with the key 5G developments, check out our dedicated 5G content channel here on Light Reading.
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading