Proximus and Huawei team up for first successful 5G outdoor trial in Belgium: speeds of up to 2.94 Gbps reached, end-to-end latency down to 1.81 milliseconds

Proximus has performed a successful 5G field trial in Haasrode (Leuven) in the 3.5 GHz band (C-band) this week, marking a major step forward in making 5G a reality. With these tests, Proximus is the first operator in Belgium to realize a 5G NR (New Radio) set-up in full compliance with international specifications. The test clearly demonstrated the possibilities of a 5G NR network: using TUE (test user equipment) transfer speeds of up to 2.94 Gbps were reached, with end-to-end latency down to 1.81 milliseconds.

To be ready for the future, Proximus and Huawei are testing 5G, the next generation mobile technology. 5G will enable faster speeds, higher capacities and shorter response times. Businesses and residential customers will benefit from this new technology.

Although 5G is currently at an early stage of development, Proximus is already taking the necessary steps to be able to deploy 5G in the future. The first indoor demo test of 5G in Belgium was held at the Proximus headquarters in November 2016.

This week, Proximus conducted a first field trial in partnership with Huawei Technologies, which provided the 5G NR and the 5G test CPE (Customer Premise Equipment). The field trial was performed in a suburban application scenario, using 5G prototype equipment that fully meets the 3GPP Non-standalone 5G NR specifications as set in December 2017. The test used Massive MIMO technology, which can multiply the quantity of data transmitted over the same band, whilst also improving the service’s coverage.

This field trial also confirmed the efforts of Proximus and Huawei to technologically fuel the digital transformation of Belgium, and to drive the development of innovative services. Huawei and Proximus welcome the interest of Belgian universities in the 5G NR and Massive MIMO technology. For the next 6 months the field trial will be made available to Universities to test propagation, performance and emitted power in representative settings. Following this successful trial, Proximus and Huawei will further investigate the potential of 5G in the coming months, as to explore applications and use cases for Belgian society.

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As the specifications of 5G are becoming more and more clear, we are exploring the possibilities of this next generation mobile technology. These tests with Huawei are of great value for us as they enable us to gain valuable insights in this cutting-edge technology and the benefits it will bring to enterprises & consumers in Belgium. As such Proximus is preparing itself to bring 5G to Belgium.

This leading-edge breakthrough is of foundational importance to shape the future of 5G NR, and it’s a milestone of the two companies’ joint efforts on 5G NR field trials. The great value of this trial consists of turning the theory into practice, and to illustrate how 5G NR can truly be an enabler for the industry and society at large. Huawei’s ongoing investments in research and innovation have led to very important milestones in network architecture, the use of the spectrum, interface technology, prototyping and field trials; for years we have considered it essential to collaborate with our partners and customers, sector and standardization organizations and vertical markets. We continue to work with our partners in Belgium to create a business model capable of being the driver of new social and economic development.

Proximus: a tradition of mobile innovations, driven by the customer’s user experience

In 1994, Proximus became a pioneer in Belgium by launching the very first mobile network. This was followed (in 2004) by the 3G network, for a fast surfing experience. In 2012, Proximus became the first operator in Belgium to launch ultra-fast mobile Internet via 4G on the market. In 2015, 4G+ followed in major cities, along with three other mobile innovations: Mobile Coverage Extender (to boost mobile coverage in every room of the home or office), Smart Wi-Fi (free automatic switching between mobile Internet and Wi-Fi while on the move) and finally, LoRa technology to enable objects to communicate with each other. In 2016, Proximus launched HD voice on 3G and Voice over 4G (VoLTE) offering crystal-clear calls while surfing on 4G. In November 2016, it was the first Belgian operator to test 5G technology with speeds of up to 70 Gbps in an indoor lab environment, based on millimetre wave.



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