ZTE attains 2.6Gbps speeds across 4G network

ZTE has used its FDD-LTE Massive MIMO solution to attain speeds of 2.6Gbps across 4G mobile networks.

Chinese telecommunications technology solutions provider ZTE has announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona that it attained 4G peak speeds of 2.6Gbps during a demonstration of pre-5G technology.

During the trial, ZTE utilised Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology across frequency-division duplex (FDD) LTE, as well as connecting eight 4G terminals simultaneously.

ZTE unveiled its patented FDD-LTE Massive MIMO solution, powered by its MSC2.0 vector processing chip, at the end of last year after trialling it with telecommunications providers China Unicom and China Telecom.

"Massive MIMO is a flagship technology of ZTE's pre-5G offering," said ZTE SVP Zhang Jianguo.

"Following the industry-leading release and commercialisation of TDD Massive MIMO, we continued in-depth development in introducing Massive MIMO to FDD-LTE networks, which are the most widely deployed 4G technology globally.

"Along with the commercial growth of FDD Massive MIMO, it will prove that we are capable of providing the most competitive pre-5G solution and maximising the benefits for our customers."

Ahead of MWC on Sunday, ZTE also unveiled its new gigabit phone and launched its 5G IT baseband unit (BBU) in partnership with Intel.

The ZTE Gigabit Phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform with an integrated Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, and uses a combination of carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO, and 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) to achieve speeds of up to 1Gbps over 4G.

ZTE's modular BBU is compatible over 2G, 3G, 4G, and pre-5G networks thanks to the use of software-defined networking (SDN) and network-function virtualisation (NFV) technologies, and supports cloud-radio access networks (C-RAN), distributed-RAN (D-RAN), and 5G central and distributed units (CU/DU).

"Intel technologies power the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices, so we are very pleased to be partners in the field of 5G and our deep cooperation will support our two companies' long-term development," Jianguo Zhang said on Sunday.

"As a leading communication equipment and solutions provider, 5G is part of ZTE's core strategy and it is dedicated to the R&D of virtualisation technologies. The cooperation between ZTE and Intel will deliver a simpler, more flexible, and open network to telecom operators, and bring bigger value to users."

ZTE has also used MWC to announce its plans to release 10Gbps-capable 5G millimetre-wave (mmWave) and sub-6GHz base stations that are compliant with 3GPP and 5G new radio (NR) standards and identified spectrum bands.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and 3GPP updated their 5G characteristics and requirements standards over the weekend, with speeds, technologies, latency, and efficiency all due to be decided later this year.

Under the current International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) 2020 technical performance requirements, 5G networks must be capable of downlink peak data rates of 20Gbps; uplink peak data rates of 10Gbps; downlink user-experienced data rates of 100Mbps; uplink user-experienced data rates of 50Mbps; 4ms latency for enhanced mobile broadband; and 1ms latency for ultra-reliable low-latency communications devices.

5G networks must also enable mobility maximum speeds of between 0km/h and 10km/h for pedestrians, 10km/h to 20km/h for vehicles, and 120km/h to 500km/h for high-speed vehicles; a connection density of 1 million devices per square kilometre; downlink peak spectrum efficiency of 30 bits/Hz; uplink peak spectrum efficiency of 15 bits/Hz; and area traffic capacity of 10Mbps per square metre.

Other parameters being decided include energy efficiency, reliability, control plane latency, and mobility interruption time.

The final spectrum band arrangements and detailed radio specifications are not due to be set until 2019-2020, however.

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