Huawei has announced it is launching a user trial for wireless-to-the-home 5G service with Telus.
The trial is the first of its kind announced in Canada, and includes the use of a physical 5G device for the home.
Huawei says the trials, which were initiated December 4th, have successfully achieved single-user download speeds of over 2Gbps in their first application.
The service aims to provide a fibre-like cellular internet experience, offering a valid alternative to broadband.
Huawei and Telus’ trial is taking place in their joint downtown Vancouver ‘5G Living Lab’ and is being conducted in the homes of Telus employees. Huawei notes it’s based on the mmWave tests Telus and Huawei conducted this summer.
“This trial represents continued progress toward the launch of 5G, as we start to replicate both the in-home experience and network footprint we will see when 5G becomes commercially available in the near future,” Ibrahim Gedeon, CTO at Telus, reports in a press statement.
“Wireless 5G services will generate tremendous benefits for consumers, operators, governments and more through the use of advanced IoT devices, big data applications, smart city systems and other technologies of the future.”
The trial operates on the 28GHz mmWave band with 800MHz of bandwidth and uses several key 5G technologies standardized by 3GPP, including massive MIMO — multiple antennas that allow for simultaneous transfer and receipt — and F-ODFM, a method of encoding that’s similar to what 4G LTE uses, but is designed for lower latency and greater flexibility.
Huawei states 5G services like this one will help reduce costs for operators. It also reports 5G networking equipment actually has a smaller footprint than traditional mobile networks, reducing requirements for government approvals on new tower locations.
Meanwhile, Verizon and AT&T have also promised to launch fixed 5G as a home broadband replacement this year in the U.S. It seems the first crop of 5G devices is destined for the home before breaking out into mobile devices.
Huawei and Telus will likely reveal more about the partnership at Mobile World Congress.