Dec 10, 2020

Etisalat smashes world 5G speed record

MENA
5G
Harry Menear
2 min
The UAE-based operator recorded speeds of 9.1Gbps over its 5G network, the fastest speeds reached to date
The UAE-based operator recorded speeds of 9.1Gbps over its 5G network, the fastest speeds reached to date...

Etisalat, one of the MENA’s leading telecom operators, announced today that it has broken the world speed record for 5G. Using a combination of multiple commercial spectrum bands, including n78(3.5GHz), n41(2.6GHz) and millimetre wave n258(26 GHz), the operator achieved speeds of 9.1Gbps on its network. 

The announcement comes just weeks after the record was broken by Nokia, Qualcomm and Finnish network operator Elisa, who achieved speeds of 8Gbps in a test conducted in Helsinki. Earlier this year, Nokia was also involved in a record-breaking 5G commercial network speed test, achieving 4.7 Gbps in a trial conducted over its own network in Dallas, Texas. 

Given that, with Etisalat’s announcement, the fastest possible speeds over commercial networks have almost doubled within the second half of 2020, the implications for network speed acceleration in 2021 are staggering. 

According to a statement from Qualcomm in the wake of the Elisa test, the ability to deliver 8 Gbps speeds over 5G networks will be critical in supporting the adoption of several new low-latency, high-bandwidth services, such as high-speed video downloads, mission-critical or virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications.

Etisalat was the first MENA telecom to launch commercial 5G services in the region, taking its network online in May of 2019, just two months after the world’s first 5G networks went live in South Korea and the US

Etisalat’s mobile network was recently recognised by Ookla as the fastest in the world, showcasing high speeds all throughout this year. The operator’s UAE network ranked with the fastest mobile download speed worldwide in January, March and July of 2020.

Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Network, Etisalat, said: “We are pleased to announce that Etisalat UAE has achieved unprecedented 9.1 Gbps 5G network speed. This 5G ultra-wideband game-changing download speed is the fastest in the world. We at Etisalat always strive to meet the ever-increasing bandwidth demand from diverse needs of customers, businesses, automation, and gaming.

“Today’s landmark announcement is a result of Etisalat’s efforts in building a robust 5G network, and 9.1 Gbps is truly a huge leap forward in the 5G era to offer a speed 30 times faster than a 4G average throughput. This will have a significant and profound change on individuals, industries, society and the economy, transforming how we live and work.”

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Jul 28, 2021

Verizon, Samsung complete 5G data session on C-band spectrum

Verizon
Samsung
5G
C-band
2 min
Verizon and Samsung’s 5G data session, completed over the C-band spectrum, used cloud-native, end-to-end virtualisation to optimise network performance

U.S telecom Verizon, in partnership with Samsung Electronics, has completed a trial of a 5G data session over the C-band spectrum. The test was conducted in a live network environment using cloud-native, end-to-end virtualisation in preparation for Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband expansion. 

Adam Koeppe, Senior Vice President of Technology Planning at Verizon, said: “We have been driving the industry to large-scale virtualisation using the advanced architecture we have built into our network from the core to the far edge. This recent accomplishment paves the way for a more programmable, efficient, and scalable 5G network. “Customers deserve more than mere access to 5G. They deserve 5G built with the highest, gold-standard engineering practices that have positioned Verizon as the most reliable industry leader for years.”

The importance of virtualisation in optimising 5G network performance 

According to Samsung, Virtualisation plays a vital role in delivering advanced 5G network services. This is due to 5G use cases such as IoT solutions, more robust consumer devices and solutions, AR/VR, remote healthcare, autonomous robotics in manufacturing environments, and ubiquitous smart city solutions, becoming more dependant on the programmability of virtualised networks. 

Pleased with the result of the trial, Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, said: “We’re proud to mark another milestone following our first large-scale commercial 5G vRAN deployment for Verizon, which is currently servicing millions of users. This trial reinforces our commitment to helping operators evolve their advanced 5G networks.”

The trials used Samsung’s fully virtualized RAN (vRAN) solution built on its own software stack and C-band 64T64R Massive MIMO radio in coordination with Verizon’s virtualized core. “The trials achieved speeds commensurate with traditional hardware-based equipment,” the companies said.

Verizon claims that cloud-native, virtualised architecture provides greater flexibility aster delivery of services, greater scalability, and improved cost efficiency in networks”, allowing it to lead the way in network slicing and wide-scale mobile edge computing. 

The technology also enables Verizon to respond quickly to customer’s latency and computing needs. Virtualisation aims to lower the entry barrier for new vendors in the ecosystem while entrants will be able to accelerate innovation and reduce operating costs, the companies said. 

Verizon is planning to make the 5G C-band spectrum initially available to 46 markets by the first quarter of 2022, and provide the Ultra-Wideband service to 100mn people. Throughout the next two years, the company expects coverage to increase to 175mn people before reaching 250mn by the end of 2024.

 

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