A new 5G connection test conducted by Finnish outlet Kauppalehti and wireless carrier Elisa showed 14 times better performance over 4G LTE in a real-world environment, having managed to consistently deliver speeds over 700Mbps. The setup used Huawei-made equipment compliant with the 3GPP’s Release 15 standard, the first implementable 5G specification completed in late December. The experiment was designed to simulate an actual urban use case and a brief summary of its main findings can be seen in the video below. The setup itself was described as not being maximally efficient, being based on a single base station and suffering from some avoidable interference, with Elisa’s experts claiming the theoretical peak bandwidth of such a system is 1,000Mbps. In contrast, the 4G LTE connection tested by the researchers under the same circumstances only managed to maintain 50Mbps speeds. The base station was approximately 500 meters away from the testing client, with the experimental 5G connection running on the 3.5GHz band.
The technology supporting the new trial is expected to be commercialized in Finland by early 2019, with Elisa estimating it may even be able to offer it to customers this year. 5G deployment in the Scandinavian country should start at a large scale within the next 18 months, with Finland hence positioning itself as one of the earliest adopters of new wireless solutions on the Old Continent. Helsinki will be auctioning off 5G spectrum in the coming months and South Korea is set to do the same, whereas the FCC is presently also planning such an auction in the U.S. but is facing some legal obstacles which are yet to be addressed.
The next generation of mobile networks is widely expected to allow for a wireless revolution paving the way for entirely new lineups of services, products, and businesses. As such, 5G should provide network operators with a major growth engine that’s only comparable to the first generation of smartphones, with essentially every telecom giant in the world planning to use the new wireless technology as a way to diversify its operations and become more involved in the enterprise segment, not just in the role of a service provider but also a partner to its clients.