DT Starts Tests on 5G Standalone
Deutsche Telekom announced plans to test standalone (SA) 5G using an antenna site in Garching, a town just outside Munich. An antenna will be connected to a trial SA 5G core network using cloud infrastructure. DT plans to test a range of devices and applications using the system in the coming weeks.
"It is important for us to be at the forefront of the further innovation steps of 5G," said Claudia Nemat, Board Member for Technology and Innovation at Telekom. "To ensure that our customers can take advantage of technologies such as network slicing or edge computing in the future, we continue to actively drive the development of 5G and its features."
With 5G Standalone, the network structure and architecture is changing. The 5G technology currently deployed in Germany is based on the 5G Non-Standalone (5G NSA) network architecture. This means that today's 5G offerings are still technically dependent on a simultaneously available 4G network (LTE) and virtually "piggyback" on this network, i.e., they do not yet function completely independently.
"5G standalone is one of the goals for us with 5G," said Walter Goldenits, head of technology at Telekom Deutschland. "The network innovation in Garching is initially the first step for us into the 5G SA live network. It helps us to gain necessary and important experience with 5G SA. A rollout in the area will then also depend on the requirements of our customers. Technology and the market will play a joint role in further development."
There are currently no terminals for customers that support 5G standalone. DT is therefore conducting the first tests with special development software on commercially available devices. The goal is to test various connections and applications that function completely standalone and without the support of 4G in the coming weeks.