China Broadcasting Network Corporation Ltd. (CBN), Ericsson and its ecosystem partner, UNISOC, have successfully completed a record-setting, MIMO downlink speed test showing the enhanced network capability of the 700MHz frequency band for 5G.
The three companies carried out an interoperability test based on the 3GPP standards contributed by CBN and terminal enhancements on 700MHz band n28. The demo used Ericsson wireless equipment and downlink 4-stream technology to achieve an average cell downlink rate of more than 600 Mbps on UNISOC’s commercial customer premise equipment (CPE) with 4 receive antennas, setting a record for downlink data rate of commercial 5G systems in the sub-1GHz frequency range.
The successful test means that CBN, who is the fourth largest communications service provider in China, is well positioned to rapidly deploy 5G and now has a solid technical foundation to expand the innovative applications of 5G into the low frequency bands.
The 700MHz frequency band is part of the wider ultra-high frequency (UHF) band used previously for terrestrial broadcasting. The 700MHz frequency band will improve connectivity in rural areas thanks to its ability to support better coverage in open spaces. Moreover, with its wide territorial reach and good penetration in buildings, the 700MHz band will help service providers meet the rising consumer demand for audiovisual content and other broadband services over wireless networks.
Li Shuang, Deputy Director of Department of Technology Development, CBN, says: "CBN always extensively cooperates with domestic and international industry partners with innovation-driven, open and win-win concepts in mind, promoting continuous maturation of the global industry chain of 5G 700MHz network and committed to building a high-quality nationwide 5G network in China. The successful test by Ericsson based on the 3GPP 5G standards contributed by CBN, including the 700MHz technology standard and n28 band terminal enhancements standard, has improved the 700MHz network capability efficiently, which is of great significance to the innovation of low-band 5G networks in various scenarios."
Peng Junjiang, General Manager of Northeast Asia R&D, Ericsson, says: “The 700MHz network capability test based on CBN's innovative technology standards validates the new capability of 5G low-band networks, while demonstrating Ericsson's strong cooperation with chipset and device partners. It also demonstrates the high performance and adaptability of Ericsson’s low band 5G systems. We have expanded the 700MHz ecosystem from smartphones to a wider range of terminal form factors including CPE, leveraging efficient technology to provide more usage scenarios for the commercialization of the 700Mhz network in China and the world."
Xia Xiaofei, Vice President of Market Management Department of UNISOC, says: “The successful interoperability test of the downlink 4*4 MIMO in the 700MHz frequency band will support operators to deploy new 5G NR network more efficiently. UNISOC is very glad to see the successful cooperation with CBN and Ericsson to help the commercial deployment of 700MHz in China. We will continue to work with industry partners to promote the exploration of 5G innovative terminals and jointly build a prosperous 5G industry."
In a real-world environment, CBN can dynamically adjust the number of streams based on radio conditions to reach the optimal rate possible under wireless conditions. When widely supported by commercial CPE and other 700MHz terminal devices in the future, the downlink 4-stream technology will cater for various innovative 5G applications as well as improve coverage in rural and suburban areas.
This Interoperability Development Testing (IoDT) was carried out at the Ericsson Beijing Lab using a 5G CPE with an embedded 5G chipset, UNISOC V 510, and Ericsson’ s 700MHz 4T4R wireless network equipment.