Korea Telecom and NEC trial 5G backhaul ahead of 2018 Winter Games

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In two years’ time, Pyeongchang in South Korea will be hosting events as part of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Ahead of the event, Korea Telecom and NEC have been trialling 5G backhaul services to launch alongside it for attendees and participants.

The trial was conducted in the E-band spectrum on the 70-80GHz frequency, and utilised NEC’s iPASOLINK EX solution which is a microwave communication system that NEC claims is able to provide a 3.2Gbps backhaul high-capacity transmission rate. According to reports, the companies’ trial achieved the speeds touted.

“We are honoured to have contributed to KT’s 5G-related trial,” said Hideyuki Muto, Deputy General Manager, Mobile Wireless Solution Division, NEC Corporation. “NEC’s iPASOLINK EX can operate in harsh environments, and is easy to install at various outdoor locations without large scale installation works because it is compact and light weight. This joint PoC took advantage of these features in order to implement a high-capacity mobile backhaul network in snowy, mountainous areas very quickly. Going forward, NEC will strengthen its partnership with KT to contribute to the launch of their 5G trial services in 2018.”

iPASOLINK EX supports ultra-multilevel modulation (256QAM) technology, which is used to achieve a 3.2Gbps transmission speed which is similar to fibre optic cable. The solution also supports narrow band transmission (channel width of 250MHz and 500MHz) which enables telecom operators to efficiently utilise the frequency bands assigned to them.

Ichiro Kaneko, Senior Manager of NEC’s Mobile Wireless Solutions Division, commented:  “NEC engineered iPASOLINK EX to provide an even higher level of upgradeable data capacity in a small, exceptionally reliable radio unit. With this latest product launch, NEC aims to continue to provide the most advanced and most comprehensive range of mobile backhaul and fronthaul solutions on the market.”

Korea Telecom and NEC signed a collaboration agreement on developing 5G networks in August 2015. The upcoming Winter Games events in South Korea will be held at Phoenix Park Ski World in Pyeongchang, the location of Korea Telecom and NEC’s current 5G trials.

Are you impressed with the 5G backhaul trial? Share your thoughts in the comments.


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