Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom have succeeded in delivering a 5G end-to-end connection through virtualized core, radio and device using the 3.5GHz spectrum. The trial was based on the 5G New Radio technology and comprised of Samsung's 5G virtualized core, virtualized RAN, Distributed Unit, and 3GPP NR-based test equipment. Conducted at Samsung's R&D center in Suwon, the trial produced results with speeds of more than 1Gbps and a latency of 1.2 milliseconds. The team successfully reduced the latency by lowering the Transmission Time Interval to 0.25 millisecond, which is equivalent to one-fourth the time of the current 4G LTE network. The trial also used a wide channel bandwidth of up to 80MHz to ensure a consistent gigabit performance, instead of 20MHz, which is usually the maximum channel bandwidth for LTE.
The trial proves that the 3.5GHz spectrum can be sufficient to provide a wider and more stable coverage. Both Samsung and SK Telecom have been working together to evaluate the various frequencies needed for a 5G network. One of the ultra-high frequencies required to facilitate a 5G network is 28GHz, which can already transmit large volume of data at a high speed, including high definition videos, courtesy of the 3GHz wide bandwidth. That means at 3.5GHz, the transmission can be faster and the coverage wider than expected, never mind that it is only a sub-6GHz spectrum. Dongsoo Park, executive vice president and chief of global sales and marketing team in networks business at Samsung Electronics, says "taking 5G in to the sub-6GHz spectrum for use cases and applications requiring wider area network coverage" is another milestone in the company's 5G-related endeavors. Park notes that the industry also acknowledges the sub-6GHz spectrum as ideal for supporting 5G services.
Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom plan to continue developing services optimized according to the characteristics of the 28GHz and 3.5GHz frequencies. Among the major contributors to the success of the 5G end-to-end connection trial are Samsung's virtualized solutions, which shows how flexible the next generation networks can become. The Korean tech giant says network virtualization serves up ultra-low latency platform for fresh communication services on top of efficiency and cost-savings.