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M1 and Huawei reach 35Gbps speeds during 5G trial

During a trial of 5G network technology, Huawei and M1 used mmWave spectrum in the 73GHz band to achieve transit speeds of 35Gbps.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Singaporean telecommunications carrier M1 has announced attaining speeds of 35Gbps during a trial of 5G network technology with Chinese technology giant Huawei.

The lab trial was conducted at M1's main operating centre in Jurong, and made use of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum in the 73GHz E-band.

"Singapore's mobile networks are widely acknowledged as amongst the most advanced worldwide, and M1 is committed to staying at the forefront of 5G technology to ensure our consumers enjoy the best experience and latest smart applications," M1 CTO Denis Seek said.

M1 and Huawei have been working together on improving 4G speeds for more than a year; in January last year, they announced attaining 1Gbps download/130Mbps upload speeds across M1's 4G mobile network using a CAT14 Huawei device for the trial.

The 4G trial was also conducted inside of M1's LTE Advanced test lab, and attained through the combination of four network technologies: 4x4 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO); two-component carrier (2CC) uplink carrier aggregation; 3CC tri-band downlink carrier aggregation; and Higher Order Modulation 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM).

"Through technology innovation, we can further stretch the capability of current 4G technology, prior to the advent of 5G technology, to achieve an incredible peak download speed of more than 1Gbps," Seek said at the time.

M1 also partnered with Nokia on 5G network technology, and conducted the nation's first live demonstration of narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) in October last year.

The NB-IoT trial with Nokia involved the use of a room temperature and humidity sensor remote application, which collects and shares data, and was again conducted inside M1's lab, while the 5G trial saw three robots display 1ms latency.

Nokia and M1 are currently deploying an NB-IoT "heterogeneous network" -- a precursor for 5G -- across Singapore using Nokia's Flexi Zone Wi-Fi equipment and small cells, which is expected to be ready later this year.

While rival provider Singtel's CTO Tay Soo Meng has acknowledged that there is a "global race" towards 5G, Singapore's largest telco carrier has yet to announce the outcome of any of its own trials, simply working on a "blueprint" for 5G deployment since January 2015 with Ericsson. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding two years ago to "study the future of 5G networks and its applications" for consumers and enterprises.

Singtel also upgraded its own 4G network to be capable of 450Mbps speeds and undertook 1Gbps live tests across 4G with Ericsson last week.

Like M1's 1Gbps 4G trial a year ago, Singtel and Ericsson made use of 256 QAM downlink combined with 4x4 MIMO and triple carrier aggregation.

"Achieving 1Gbps speeds on our live network marks a significant milestone in our journey to 5G," Singtel CEO of Consumer Singapore Yuen Kuan Moon said.

For its fixed-line service, M1 launched its Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) commercial fibre broadband service in February, offering customers speeds of up to 10Gbps -- almost a month after Singtel launched its own 10Gbps GPON service.

Huawei, which plans to implement 5G networks in 2020, similarly achieved speeds of 35Gbps during a 5G trial with Australian telecommunications provider Optus in November, which was likewise conducted over the 73GHz mmWave spectrum band using the Polar Code coding mechanism.

5G trials in Australia have seen Ericsson and Telstra attain download speeds of 18-22Gbps in September, and Vodafone and Nokia attain speeds of 5Gbps in October.

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