Viavi State of 5G Trials

Viavi Solutions has released new industry data on the state of 5G trials globally. Despite 5G standards not being expected until 2020, 25 mobile operators have already announced that they are lab testing “5G”. Among those, 12 report having progressed to field testing. An additional four 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 data was compiled from publicly available sources for information purposes only, as part of Viavi’s practice of tracking trends to drive solution development. “The State of 5G Trials” serves as a companion document to Viavi’s Gigabit Monitor, a visual database of gigabit internet deployments around the globe.

“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.”

At Mobile World Congress 2017, Viavi will showcase solutions to light the path to 5G for the mobile communications ecosystem. These include:

  • Virtualization – Test and Assurance as a Service: Collaborating with ON.Lab, Radisys and other CORD Project partners, Viavi will demonstrate orchestrated Test and Assurance as a Service using the M-CORD 5G open reference solution. The demonstration can be viewed in Hall 5, Stand 5I61 (ON.Lab).
  • Visibility – Location-Aware, App-Aware Analytics: The industry’s only machine-learning, location intelligence solution for 2G, 3G and 4G network performance optimization has been augmented with app awareness. This platform also enables end-to-end automation of programmable networks—which will be a critical part of 5G—and monetization of network and subscriber usage data to maximize the network’s value.
  • Versatility – Test and Assurance for Physical, Virtual and Hybrid Networks: While strategic focus within the industry turns to emerging technologies such as 5G and virtualization, legacy networks and operating models will still need to be managed for years to come. On display at Mobile World Congress will be leading solutions from Viavi’s market-leading, cloud-enabled test instrument portfolio including CellAdvisor with BBU emulation, InterferenceAdvisor and MTS/T-BERD® 5800-100G Field Tester.