Vodafone and Huawei have jointly built a superior 5G experience zone in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019. In this zone, Vodafone deployed 5G sites with commercial 5G spectrum to build a high-performance 5G network with Huawei’s End to End (E2E) products and solutions. Riding on this network, various eMBB services were provided using Huawei 5G commercial smartphones and CPEs to deliver the ultimate 5G service experience.
Co-Site & Co-Coverage with 4G, Gbps User experience
The live networks were deployed in Barcelona City Centre (Plaza Catalunya, Paseo de Gracia, Balmes and Universitat). Huawei’s 5G E2E products and solutions were used to provide continuous live network coverage. Based on the spectrum of C-Band 80MHz, the downlink peak rate achieved was 1.7Gbps in the live 5G scenario, while the average geographical downlink throughput was about 800Mbps, enabling a genuine Gbps experience.
Multiple gNodeBs (5G) were deployed at existing 4G LTE sites and provided the same coverage as that of the eNodeBs (4G LTE). This network performance proves that active antennas (massive MIMO) are the key to reduce the cost per bit for operators. With the combination of 64T64R and the 80 MHz bandwidth, compared with 4G LTE, 5G can increase the capacity of a single cell by 20-25 times and reduce the per bit traffic cost to 1/10. The coverage provided by active antennas makes 5G and 4G co-site construction possible, greatly reducing the cost of a new site.
Commercial Terminals (Mobile Phones & CPEs) for a Superior 5G Gbps-Level Experience
5G eMBB is a turning point for user experience. It delivers a Gbps-level experience for smartphone users. The first 5G smartphone from Huawei was on display in the experience zone. This phone is the world’s fastest foldable 5G phone. In Vodafone booth (Fira Hall 3) and Huawei booth (Hall 1 Back Garden), smartphones using 5G 80MHz spectrum were able to support super-fast video file download and play. The visual delay of the human eye is nearly 100 milliseconds (ms). The latency on a 5G network will be <20ms for consumers and can be even lower in certain enterprise applications like smart factories. With 5G, video service users can experience nearly zero wait.
With the emergence and popularisation of commercial terminals such as 5G smartphones and CPEs, the rapid development of 5G will provide more services for consumers and bring MBB to a new level.
Santiago Tenorio, Vodafone’s Group Head of Networks Strategy and Architecture, visited the experience zone and highly commended it. He remarked that it is a significant technical achievement by Vodafone and Huawei engineers to have incorporated the latest 5G standard into commercial technology so quickly. Vodafone is on track to have 5G networks ready for customers in some European cities in the second half of this year, he added.
Yang Chaobin, President of Huawei’s 5G Product Line, said, “Vodafone and Huawei have successfully completed the deployment of a live 5G network and provided a superior service experience based on 5G commercial terminals. Huawei will continue to work together with the industry to promote the successful commercial use of 5G.”