AIS, Qualcomm, ZTE claim world’s first 5G NR-DC field test

The 5G NR-DC test was conducted at the AIS commercial 5G site in Korat, Thailand

Thai operator Advanced Info Service (AIS), Qualcomm Technologies and ZTE announced what is said to be the world’s first 5G NR-DC (New Radio Dual Connectivity) showcase in the field using  2.6 GHz and 26 GHz spectrum.

The partners said that the field trial reached 8.5Gbps peak downlink speed and 2.17 Gbps peak uplink speed with a single mobile device.

The test was conducted at the AIS commercial 5G site in Korat, Thailand, using a smartphone form-factor test device powered by the Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System, and ZTE’s latest mmWave AAU network infrastructure equipment. 

The NR-DC was implemented with one 100 MHz carrier in 2.6 GHz and four 200 MHz carriers in 26 GHz.

ZTE said in a statement the showcase paves the way further for commercial progress in 5G mmWave in Thailand. “We’re pleased to work with AIS and Qualcomm Technologies to achieve this milestone, which lays a technology validation foundation for 5G mmWave commercialization,” said Mei Zhong Hua, SVP, at ZTE.

“AIS’s key goal is to develop the smart 5G network as a national infrastructure,” said Wasit Wattanasap, head of nationwide operation and support department at advanced info service at AIS. “We are the licensee holding the most spectrum in low-band, mid-band and high-band or mmWave, which has the outstanding feature of rapid data transmission with low latency. We have never stopped deploying innovations to level up the network, including 5G Non Standalone (NSA)/ Standalone (SA), Voice over New Radio (VoNR) and 5G carrier aggregation (CA), to provide increasingly improved experiences to Thai customers, which was our intention when we joined the auction for spectra.”

“Most recently, we have continued our collaboration with ZTE and Qualcomm Technologies to jointly trial 5G NR-DC technology. It is a crucial step to combine different 5G spectra, 2600 MHz (mid-band) and 26 GHz (high-band) in a world first. This enables downloads of up to 8.5 Gbps, and uplinks of up to 2.17 Gbps.

Qualcomm South East Asia VP ST Liew added: “Our collaboration with AIS and ZTE proves the feasibility of deploying 5G mmWave in Thailand. Qualcomm Technologies believes that 5G mmWave will be the key to unlocking the full potential of 5G. The possibility is endless and we are proud to take the first step in bringing the full benefits of 5G mmWave to the country.” 

AIS launched 5G NSA service in February 2020 using the 700MHz, 2600 MHz and 26 GHz bandwidth, followed by 5G SA in July 2020. The operator claimed that its 5G SA network was present in all 77 provinces in Thailand.

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