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Vodafone, Huawei extend 5G coverage range in Milan trial

Tuesday 21 November 2017 | 09:56 CET | News

Vodafone Italia and Huawei have announced the completion of a technique to improve the range of high frequency spectrum as part of their pre-standard 5G trials in Milan. The companies recently revealed that they had reached download speeds of 2.7Gbps and a latency of just over a millisecond in the first live end-to-end 5G data connection in Italy. They have now used the same E2E test network to pioneer a new approach to improve the coverage range of the high frequency 3.7GHz spectrum made available for the pre-standard 5G trial by Italy's Ministry of Economic Development (MISE).

In a statement, the operator said high frequency bands can connect many users at the same time, but broadcast over a more limited distance than lower frequencies. Instead of using a single frequency band to communicate between a smartphone and the network, the partners tested using different frequency bands for downlink and uplink transmissions.

This uplink and downlink decoupling capability, which is currently being standardised by 3GPP, led to an up to a 10-fold improvement in uplink coverage when utilising the low band, said the partners. As a result, customers would get a stronger signal even in areas where 5G coverage is limited when using the technique.


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