China’s IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group said it has completed a third phase of non-standalone trials, Chinese press reported.
The tests were based on 3GPP’s Release 15 standards unveiled last year.
Tests in this phase included both indoor and outdoor trials, core network and base station functions. Huawei, ZTE and the China Information and Communication Technologies Group completed trials using the 3.5 GHz and 4.9 GHz frequency bands, according to the reports.
The IMT-2020 Promotion Group said that more than 20 companies participated in the third phase of China’s 5G trials, including Ericsson, Nokia Shanghai Bell, Samsung, Qualcomm, Intel and Rohde & Schwarz.
The group’s next step is to conduct interoperability tests on system and chip system terminals.
China’s 5G R&D tests started in 2016 and have involved three phases: key technologies testing, the verification of technology and solution and 5G system verification.
The IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group was jointly established in 2013 by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Science and Technology, based on the original IMT-Advanced Promotion Group. In China, it is the primary platform through which 5G research and international exchange and cooperation is conducted.
Operators participating in the IMT-2020 Promotion Group include China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and Japanese telecoms operator NTT DoCoMo.
The IMT-2020 Promotion Group completed the initial phase of its trial program in 2016. That phase included testing wireless technologies including massive multiple-input-multiple-output, novel multiple access, new waveforms, advance coding, ultra-dense network implementations and high-frequency communications. The trial phase also included network slicing, edge computing and network function reconstruction. The second phase of the national 5G tests were fully completed during last year.
Earlier this year, the Chinese government had authorized carriers to test 5G technology in major cities across the country. Under this initiative, state-run telcos have been deploying 5G networks in 16 cities to trial the technology.
China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator in terms of subscribers, had plans to carry out external field test in the cities of Hangzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Suzhou, and Wuhan and deploy more than 100 base stations in these locations. China Mobile also has said it would conduct 5G network application demonstrations in 12 cities including Beijing, Chengdu, and Shenzhen.
Last year, China Mobile announced plans to deploy more than 10,000 5G base stations by 2020. The telco expects to launch a pre-commercial 5G service this year.
China Unicom’s 5G trials plans center around 16 cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, Guiyang, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Fuzhou, Zhengzhou, and Shenyang.
China Telecom has also said it plans to test 5G technology in six cities including Xiong’an, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Suzhou, Chengdu and Lanzhou.