ZTE claims multiple industry firsts in 5G in China

Beijing China (Pixabay)
ZTE's tests were part of Phase 2 of China's National 5G tests and conducted in Beijing.

Chinese vendor ZTE said it successfully completed tests in seven major scenarios that are part of the second phase of China’s National 5G tests, including ones involving network slicing and millimeter wave technology.

The tests were conducted in Huairou, Beijing, and covered continuous wide coverage, enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) at sub 6 GHz, eMBB at millimeter wave frequencies, ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (uRLLC) and massive Machine Type Communications (eMTC), among others.

In the eMBB sub 6 GHz test scenario, ZTE provided 28 streams for multiple users with a 3.5 GHz precommercial base station, producing a peak cell throughput higher than 19 Gbps, which ZTE says is a new industry record. That data rate is higher than the ITU-defined value of 10 Gbps.

ZTE says its solution overcomes the limitations of standard interfaces and provides more special division streams than the standard and common value (16 streams) in the industry. “This technology is especially suitable for China’s densely-populated urban areas,” the company said in a press release.

ZTE recently announced it would double its R&D expenditure on 5G to reach $295 million by the end of the year. The company currently has about 3,000 ZTE employees working on 5G R&D, ZDNet reported.

ZTE also announced this week that is was the first to use the 26 GHz base station in the high-frequency eMBB test scenario and achieved a 4-stream rate of 13 Gbps even when a single test terminal supported a bandwidth of less than 1 GHz. That rate is higher than that defined by ITU and is a major step forward in the development and commercialization of high-frequency mobile communications, the vendor said.

In one of its hybrid test scenarios, ZTE built a unified network supporting the air interfaces in eMBB, mMTC and uRLLC scenarios through network slicing and base stations at sub-6 GHz. This allowed a cell to connect a variety of service terminals.

RELATED: ZTE touts 5G breakthrough with MUSA technology

In the mMTC test, ZTE increased the overload rate of connected terminals by a whopping 600% using what it calls the innovative multi-user shared access (MUSA) technology and verified an equivalent massive IoT access performance of 90 million connections/MHz/hour/km, which is 90 times the value currently defined by ITU.

ZTE also indicated it’s interested in interoperability, a key priority no doubt for wireless operators in 5G. The company said it launched laboratory and field tests smoothly when interconnecting with the instruments and chips from other manufacturers in the industry.

ZTE and its much larger China-based counterpart Huawei were called out in a 2012 U.S. government report as security threats that could be used as back doors for Chinese espionage. The companies refuted any such allegations, but they’ve essentially been locked out of major network infrastructure contracts with telecom operators such as Verizon, Sprint and others in the U.S.