Huawei & NTT DOCOMO Complete Successful 5G mmWave Long-Distance Mobility Trial over 39 GHz Band

Huawei and NTT DOCOMO have jointly completed a successful field trial for 5G mobile communications over a long distance using the 39 GHz mmWave band in Yokohama, Japan. In this trial, they achieved a downlink data transmission of over 2 Gbps on a testing vehicle which was equipped with user equipment (UE) equivalent to a mobile phone, while driving at speeds over 20 km per hour.

Long-distance mobility transmission over 5G mmWave is one of the enabling technologies to realize 5G enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and ubiquitous connectivity of massive data rate whilst fully leveraging the current macro-cellular sites investment by operators.

Achieving wide area coverage and mobility performance on 5G mmWave is still a technological challenge for the 5G industry. High propagation loss of mmWave signals limit its coverage, while narrow directional beam required to focus the transmission power makes the mmWave beam to track the mobile device becomes more difficult.

The joint field trial conduced in November 2017, successfully demonstrated that 39 GHz mmWave can be used for the long distance transmission in both stationary and mobility scenarios even in urban complex deployment environments. The partners recorded over 3 Gbps downlink throughput on the stationary user equipment (UE) at a distance of 1.5 km and over 2 Gbps at a distance of 1.8 km on 39 GHz mmWave. The trial has validated and proved the effectiveness of mmWave technologies to provide a range of 5G services which require wide area coverage.

The test system was made up of one base station on Yokohama Media Tower that operates at 39 GHz and UE on a testing vehicle. This trial boasted the innovative metamaterials based compact focal lens antenna with advanced beamforming (maximum gain of 31 dBi) technique to concentrate the radio waves in a certain direction to enable long distance transmission. The advanced beam tracking technique is employed to track UE on a testing vehicle traveling at speeds over 20 km per hour. This is the industry-first filed trial to verify the long distance mmWave transmission for mobility application in macro-cell coverage scenarios.

The invented mmWave beam processing algorithms are used to allow the best beam selection, fast beam tracking, and fast beam switching for the best performance for mobile terminal. Moving at about 25 km per hour, the terminal user experienced the high speed transmission and stable throughput.

Huawei and DOCOMO jointly worked to develop this 5G technology and have successfully conducted a series of large-scale field trials since December 2014. Huawei will continue to work on research and development of mobile communications technologies in cooperation with partners around the world to offer new services that utilize 5G in diverse scenarios for 2020 and beyond.