Qualcomm, Three Austria, and ZTE Demonstrate 5G SA on 700MHz in Europe
Qualcomm, Three Austria, and ZTE have successfully executed a 5G network demonstration using a standalone (SA) coverage layer based on 700MHz (n28) and the world’s first supplemental downlink (SDL) band 1400MHz (n75). The test shows a significant boosting rural throughput and the capacity of standalone mode NR.
Today, 5G commercial services in Europe are primarily operating in the 3500MHz (n78) TDD band using the non-standalone (NSA) mode of the 5G standard to address growing performance and capacity demand in more populated dense and urban areas. Typically, TDD n78 bands have larger operating bandwidths (between 40MHz – 100MHz) providing greater speeds and network capacity. The next step in 5G evolution is to move towards standalone mode using the new 5G core architecture which will power enhanced consumer experiences - with faster peak speeds, more available connections, lower latency, and higher throughput - and allow for industry growth in areas such as Industrial IoT and cloud services.
At present, cities have a higher number of frequencies and support higher capacity thanks to a greater number of network masts and more extensive use of 3500GHz (n78) frequency. As 5G rollouts expand, legacy technology FDD bands of 3G and 4G/ LTE like 800MHz (n28), 2100MHz (n1), 1800MHz (n3), and 2600MHz (n7) with bandwidths varying from 5MHz-20MHz are being re-farmed into 5G bands to improve the 5G footprint in rural areas. Qualcomm, Three Austria, and ZTE have come together to demonstrate 5G SA operating in the 700MHz (n28) band along with the world’s first supplemental downlink band 1400MHz (n75) with 30MHz bandwidth. This important milestone helps in accelerating 5G expansion in suburban and rural areas with enhanced downlink speeds and coverage for customers. The commercial deployment model has significant potential for operators to improve 5G coverage with 5G SA deployments across the remainder of Europe.