KT, NEC prove 5G backhaul for 2018 Winter Games

Korea Telecom and NEC have claimed a successful 5G backhaul proof of concept demo achieving rates of 3.2Gbps.

The trail took place in PyeongChang in South Korea at the Phoenex Park Ski World. The venue will be home to some of the events at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, and both KT and SK Telecom have confirmed they’re planning on launching trial 5G services around the time of the Games.

The trial focussed on providing 5G wireless backhaul utilising E-band spectrum operating on the 70-80GHz frequency. NEC claims its contributed solution the iPASOLINK EX – a microwave communication system operating in the E-band – is capable of providing 3.2Gbps backhaul high-capacity transmission rates.

The PoC proved the speeds NEC claimed were possible, as well as demonstrated narrow band transmission between 250-500MHz frequencies.  NEC said the PoC used its solution to interconnect LTE base stations owned by KT at high speed with high-capacity wireless links.

Speaking on the completed 5G radio proof of concept, NEC’s Deputy GM for mobile wireless solutions, Hideyuki Muto, said the mountainous terrains of Korea will be a key challenge for operators looking to deploy 5G services in the country. This will be of particular difficulty in high-altitude and more remote destinations used for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. As such, successfully achieving a high speed and high capacity at the Phoenix Park Ski World is a key milestone in preparing for the Games.

“We are honored to have contributed to KT’s 5G-related trial,” he said “NEC’s iPASOLINK EX can operate in harsh environments, and is easy to install at various outdoor locations without large scale installation works because it is compact and light weight. This joint PoC took advantage of these features in order to implement a high-capacity mobile backhaul network in snowy, mountainous areas very quickly. Going forward, NEC will strengthen its partnership with KT to contribute to the launch of their 5G trial services in 2018.”

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