Huawei, Intel, and Deutsche Telekom successfully tested history's first interoperable 5G data connection based on the 3GPP Release 15 Standard finalized last month, the trio announced Thursday. The development and interoperability testing relied on a commercial base station developed by Huawei and Intel's 5G New Radio Mobile Trial Platform. The configuration itself utilized what the partners say is "the largest" cell bandwidth in the C band defined by the recently completed standard, i.e. a radio frequency range between 4GHz to 8GHz. Standard beamforming and Massive MIMO multi-antenna technologies were also used to support the infrastructure.
The development is being touted as "a critical step" on the trio's path to commercialize the fifth generation of mobile networks in the near future. Huawei 5G technologies are already expected to be implemented into millions of devices next year and Intel's XMM 8000 modems should be rolled out on a global level by 2020 following a more limited launch in mid-2019, the Santa Clara-based tech giant said. DT is also ramping up its efforts to deploy 5G infrastructure in the near future but has yet to attach a detailed roadmap to the project. The German telecom giant has been collaborating with Huawei on 5G research and development since 2015 and explicitly said it's planning to continue doing so going forward. Intel should also remain closely associated with the consortium in the coming years, the company signaled. Much like the rest of the industry, DT has extremely high hopes for 5G which it expects to lead to entirely new categories of products and services, allowing it to both strengthen and diversify its revenue stream in the long term.
The newly concluded test confirms the viability of the first 5G standard 3GPP finalized last month in Lisbon, Portugal, at least as far as Huawei, Intel, and DT's contributions to its development are concerned. Verifying the interoperability of the first "real" 5G standard is important for the process of commercializing it on a large scale as such endeavors allow both network equipment manufacturers and carriers to make sure their products and services can work with third-party technologies without any effort on the part of the end user.