MWC 2019: Huawei builds 5G network across Korea with LG Uplus

LG Uplus has deployed more than 10,000 5G sites across Korea using Huawei technology, providing average mobile speeds of 900Mbps in Seoul.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Huawei has deployed more than 10,000 5G sites across South Korea for carrier LG Uplus, the Chinese networking giant announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in Barcelona.

The Korean 5G network will provide continuous 5G coverage, the companies said, with the average data rate in Gangnam District, Seoul, exceeding 900Mbps.

LG Uplus and Huawei are demonstrating the use of ultra-HD video and virtual reality services across the 5G network, which they said will be commercial applications.

"VR will become a mainstream service in the 5G era ... cloud VR will become a killer application," Huawei said on Monday morning.

Huawei and LG Uplus have been partnered on 5G for several years, with the two completing 5G field trials in Gangnam District back in November 2017 to verify technologies including IPTV 4K video, dual connectivity, and inter-cell handover.

At the time calling it the world's first wide-scale 5G network test using a pre-commercial testing environment, the companies used a 5G "tour bus" to deliver 5G 4K IPTV, and used a VR drone to demonstrate data rates of between 20Mbps and 100Mbps at the LG Uplus headquarters.

Huawei also combined 5G customer premises equipment (CPE) with the VR drone to demonstrate throughput of 1.5Gbps from 100m in altitude using the 3.5GHz spectrum band.

The trial followed Huawei and LG Uplus a month earlier completing dual-connectivity technology verification during a 5G trial in Seoul, providing 20Gbps downlink speeds by simultaneously linking two 5G base stations.

Read also: MWC 2019: Huawei Mate X foldable 5G phone to take on Samsung Galaxy Fold

Huawei is also demonstrating its 5G capabilities in partnership with Vodafone at MWC 2019, with the two having deployed a live 5G network across Plaza Catalunya, Paseo de Gracia, Balmes, and Universitat in the Barcelona City Center.

The Vodafone-Huawei 5G network attained peak download speeds of 1.7Gbps, with average speeds of 800Mbps.

However, the Chinese tech giant's 5G solutions has been banned by Australia and the US, limited by New Zealand, and left off the vendor list of South Korea's largest carrier SK Telecom. The US has also taken to warning central European nations and Canada against using Huawei for 5G.

Despite this, the UK is still open to using Huawei; Italy has reportedly denied that it will ban Huawei; and Angela Merkel has set conditions for the company's participation in Germany's new mobile network, including guarantees from the company that it will not hand over information to the Chinese government.

MWC 2019 Coverage

Editorial standards