“We’re using our experience in cutting edge 4G technologies and our dedicated partnership approach to ensure technology leadership in 5G,” said Tom Bennett, EE Director of Network Services amp; Devices. “The network architecture we’ve proven today is a huge step forward, and will drive our ambitious rollout timetable to be first for 5G.”
EE and Huawei are demonstrating the test at the Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum this week.
EE was the first UK mobile operator to launch 4G in 2012, but only after delays to the auction of spectrum caused by arguments about a reserved amount of bandwidth for a fourth operator.
The test was conducted at EE’s lab and is seen as significant because it used a fully virtualised 5G core network and commercial off-the-shelf hardware.
It is expected that the first commercial 5G networks will go live in 2020, but just as with 4G, there is the possibility that the launch of 5G could be scuppered by legal challenges.
The partners achieved speeds of 2.8Gbps, as well as sub-5ms latency, using 64×64 MIMO and 100MHz worth of 3.5GHz test spectrum. This connected EE’s virtualised core network with the Huawei 5G baseband unit.