EE hits 2.8GBps download speeds in UK-first 5G trial

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BT’s mobile arm EE has conducted a UK-first 5G trial, hitting speeds of nearly 3GBps.

The test, carried out with Huawei in a lab environment, used a 100MHz slice of 3.5GHz spectrum to achieve 2.8GBps download speeds and latency of under 5ms.

A virtualised 5G core network featured alongside Huawei’s 5G baseband unit and a 64x64 Massive MIMO antenna configuration, broadcasting via the 5G New Radio standard.

The speeds were achieved end-to-end across both the access and core sections of the network, the two companies said.

The architecture was aligned to 3GPP Release 15, which will be finalised next month and formally ratified in April 2018.

Tom Bennett, EE Director of Network Services & Devices, said: “We’re using our experience in cutting edge 4G technologies and our dedicated partnership approach to ensure technology leadership in 5G.

“The network architecture we’ve proven today is a huge step forward, and will drive our ambitious rollout timetable to be first for 5G.”

Earlier this week, Telenor announced it would use the city of Kongsberg as its first testbed for 5G with plans to trial the likes of autonomous buses and drones, emergency communication and eHealth services.

Last week, Vodafone claimed it had achieved the first 5G data connection in Italy.

However, a sobering prediction from CCS Insight last month claimed Europe would trail a year behind the rest of the world in its 5G roll-outs.