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Huawei completes testing of new 5G air interface technology

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Chinese telco giant Huawei has announced the completion of the first phase of field trials of what it claims is a new 5G air interface.

The outdoor macro-cell tests commenced last month in Chendu, China and are part of a series field trials defined by the IMT-2020 5G Promotion Group, a public/private Chinese consortium set up to promote 5G research. Huawei says the test results demonstrated a new 5G air interface technology that can improve spectrum efficiency and meet service requirements for 5G defined by ITU-R.

A key challenge for 5G is to increase mobile broadband bandwidth by a large order of magnitude, while at the same time supporting billions of IoT devices, each individually requiring very little bandwidth. Meeting this challenge is the main stated objective of the IMT group. Huawei’s contribution is focused on new radio technologies, including the new air-interface, full-duplex and massive MIMO technologies.

According to Huawei, the new air interface consists of three novel underlying technologies: filtered Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (F-OFDM), Sparse Code Multiple Access (SCMA) and Polar code. F-OFDM apparently offers a lot more flexibility to future proof the interface, while SCMA delivers dramatically increased throughput. This is how Huawei explains Polar code: “It allocates information to the highly reliable data locations in the code structure to transmit useful information of user and at the same time it supports channel coding of any code rate with an appropriate code construction to fit any future service requirements.”

The test demonstrated MU-MIMO can achieve 3.6Gbps cell average throughput using 100MHz system bandwidth. It also tested Full Duplex with three-level cascaded technologies: passive analog cancellation, active analog cancellation, and digital cancellation, resulting in a 90% throughput gain.

“The trial of 5G technologies in China will be a great contribution to 5G applications in the future,” said Dr. Wen Tong, Huawei 5G Chief Scientist. “As a member of the IMT-2020 5G Promotion Group, Huawei is pleased to work with CAICT, China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom, and took the initiative to be the first to complete 5G key technologies tests and corresponding system integration test based on our proposed 5G new air interface.”

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