Deutsche Telekom and Huawei have carried out the world’s first multi-cell high millimeter waves field tests of 5G mobile communications with 73GHz mmWave technology (E-Band) under a large variety of real-world environments at the Deutsche Telekom campus in Bonn, Germany. (See: DT Elaborates on 5G Strategy.)
In the comprehensive field tests, the 5G partners addressed mmWave performance and propagation characteristics in both outdoor and indoor technology deployment, says the press release.
Alex Jinsung Choi, Senior Vice President Research and Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom: “Next generation services such as 3D immersive applications, mobile cloud service, gaming and social-networking applications require massive capacity and higher data rates. The use of higher range millimeter-wave spectrum bands is one of the enabling technologies to deliver the capacity increases and massive data rates required for 5G enhanced Mobile Broadband with massive data rates and ultra-fast experience. The verification of these features in our world’s first multi-cell 5G high mmWave field tests will point out the future direction for the industry’s ultra-high broadband experience for customers in both indoor scenarios as well as in extremely crowded areas. The successful trial result opens up a new door for applications and deployments of 5G mmWave.”
“Huawei is continuing to invest heavily in innovative 5G technologies”, said Dr. Wen Tong, Huawei Wireless CTO. “The high mmWave technology can achieve unprecedented fiber-like speed for mobile broadband access. This trial has shown the capabilities of E-band combined with MIMO technology to deliver exceptional user experience in a full multi-call campus environment. With customer-centric innovation in mind, Huawei will continue to push the technology envelope jointly with our customer to deliver best-in-class advanced wireless solutions.”
Achieving wide area coverage and mobility performance on 5G mmWave represents a technological challenge for the 5G industry. High propagation loss of mmWave signals limits its coverage, while narrow, directional beams required to focus the transmission power makes the mmWave beam tracking of the mobile device more difficult.
The 5G mmWave trial in Bonn demonstrated Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) capabilities utilizing advanced antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques to achieve multi-gigabit per second data rates for stationary and mobile scenarios in 1GHz bandwidth. Performance was demonstrated and assessed in variable, multi-cell environments including line-of-sight (LOS) and near/non-line-of-sight (n/NLOS) conditions. In addition, the trials also evaluated glass building penetration, foliage and office indoor scenarios
mmWave for 5G enhanced Mobile Broadband
One of the requirements defined by ITU for the fifth generation of mobile communications (5G) is enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) systems that should not only meet the significant requirements for capacity increase, but also address the needs for higher user data rates (up to 10 Gbps). Due to the huge amount of available spectrum in the higher spectrum bands, the utilization of mmWave techniques is a promising way to achieve these rates. There are several realistic deployment scenarios for mmWave technology as part of a 5G access network: FWA (Fixed-Wireless-Access), Indoor/Outdoor small cell access (hot spots, data shower, smart offices etc.), as well as backhaul for small cells.
Since the first phase of frequency allocation for 5G (aligned by ITU and 3GPP) defines a period of research for frequencies under 52.6 GHz, frequencies up to 100 GHz are assigned for phase two (3GPP Rel. 16) which should be completed December 2019. Here, E-Band (66 – 76 GHz) is a part of the frequencies between 24 GHz and 86 GHz considered after the most recent World Radio-communications Conference (WRC).
These tests build on the work started by Deutsche Telekom and Huawei in 2016 in the 5G:haus innovation lab, when the partners showed the world’s first mmWave prototype operating at 73GHz in a lab environment. That demo, using Multi-user (MU) MIMO, displayed high spectrum efficiency and a potential for more than 20Gbps throughput rates for individual users.
Multi-cell environment trials showed the complicated propagation characteristics and related interference risks of deployment of mmWave systems and importance of new planning methods.