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Samsung Test Pushes 5G Mobile Broadband Speeds to 8.5Gbps

Thursday, April 16th, 2020 (8:31 am) - Score 4,408
samsung_5g_lab_test

A new lab test conducted by Samsung has used 800MHz of spectrum bandwidth in the mmWave band and MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) technology to push 5G mobile broadband speeds up to hit a new aggregated peak downstream rate of 8.5Gbps (Gigabits per second), albeit only over a very short distance.

The company claims that its test, which also harnessed Carrier Aggregation by combining spectrum from 8 different bands, represents the “industry’s fastest 5G speeds in a lab demonstration” so far. We aren’t told all the details, although it seems as if that 800MHz of frequency was actually accumulated from different blocks within just the 28GHz mmW band (their kit also supports 39GHz).

Otherwise the setup used one of Samsung’s latest commercial 5G Access Units in its test, which then distributed the signal out to two of their latest end-user modem test units (each achieved a top speed of around 4.3Gbps). You can expect to find similar modems inside the next generation of certain Smartphones or other 5G equipped consumer devices.

The AU being deployed below should theoretically be able to deliver capacity of 10Gbps throughput (shared between multiple end-users), which puts Samsung well on the way to achieving the ITU’s original IMT-2020 specification for 5G, which set a peak downstream rate of 20Gbps.

samsung 5g lab test results

The achievement is extremely promising for the future, although a very short range lab test is not the same as a real-world field trial or commercial deployment. The big challenge with mmW bands is that, while they can carry more data, you have to sacrifice coverage because such weak signals degrade very quickly over any kind of distance and are easily disrupted.

As a result mmW is generally better suited to limited short-range coverage in dense urban areas (e.g. busy shopping areas), where there’s a lot of demand for capacity, or for fixed wireless access (fwa) style links to individual premises. The limitations of such bands, combined with the slow pace of regulators (e.g. Ofcom) in releasing them for use by 5G, means that only a few countries have actually deployed them (the UK is lagging behind).

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12 Responses
  1. Tim says:

    Do you know if this is TDD or FDD?

    800Mhz bandwidth is a massive amount of spectrum. Even EE which has the most only has 295Mhz total and only 40Mhz of this can be used for 5G right now.

    This is impressive, but far from reality!

    Realistically this isn’t going to become mainstream. Sure there will be a few 5G mmWave cells in stadiums etc where there is a really high density of users in a few hundred meters or open space but for normal cells mmWave is not the answer.

    I’d rather see the deployment of LTE-A Pro which can use more of the currently available spectrum.

  2. Declan M says:

    Oh not the 5G

  3. Michael V says:

    This is Great that we are seeing how capable the mmWave bands could be. IT’ll be great to see how IoT / Internet of Things can really come together when we have great coverage. But None of the four UK Operators will be able to have that much bandwidth when the mmWave Frequency range is put up for auction.
    So I agree with Tim.

    Is it the 50GHz – 60GHz bands we’re going to be seeing in UK?
    I know mmWave covers around 20GHz to 80GHz.

    1. Tim says:

      60Ghz is licence free (same as Wi-Fi). Could be used now but low power so only has a range of maybe 100 meters with perfect Line-of-Sight (LoS) to a portable device.

      In reality, mmWave is really only any good for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA).

      We still do not see LTE-U being widely used so I doubt the unlicensed equivalent for 5G will be used.

  4. Michael V says:

    I’m now at the point of thinking that comments like Declan M’s shouldn’t even be authorised for posting. We should be keeping comments relevant to the subject.
    5G is no danger. Just like 4G isn’t.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      He didn’t actually provide enough context to make such a judgement. Obviously after recent events around COVID-19 I’m auto-deleting conspiracy nutters / trolls, but it has to be clearly over that line.

    2. Michael V says:

      Hi Mark. Ok, true, I get what you mean. 🙂

    3. Declan M says:

      It was meant as a joke just to say Michael I sent with a laughing emoji but hasn’t appeared unfortunately. I was taking the mick out the clowns that believe everything they see on Facebook.

    4. Michael V says:

      Hey Declan. Oh right! Sorry! Ha! 🙂

  5. Thebobster60 says:

    If it’s distance dependent that means many smaller masts all over the place yes ? No ?

    1. Tim says:

      Think of mmWave being worse for coverage than WiFi.

      It’s single room or direct LoS coverage only. So this will only ever work for very high density short range coverage. Think stadium and train stations.

      It’ll never be wide spread.

      5G on low and mid bands will provide wide coverage but speeds will be around 100Mbps not multiple Gbits.

  6. Thebobster60 says:

    Sounds like a tiered service , another shot on the dark , geographically.

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