KT and NEC test 5G backhaul solution using E-band spectrum

NEC’s iPASOLINK EX backhaul small cell was able to deliver high capacity transmissions of up to 3.2Gbps; KT looking to establish 5G wireless backhaul services particularly in mountainous areas

KT and NEC test 5G backhaul solution using E-band spectrum

NEC and the South Korean mobile carrier KT have completed a Proof of Concept (PoC) trial for a 5G wireless backhaul solution that utilises E-Band spectrum (70-80GHz). The PoC was conducted at Phoenix Park Ski World in PyeongChang, South Korea, using KT’s commercial mobile network infrastructure.

KT aims to launch 5G trial services in 2018. This PoC is based on a collaboration agreement in the field of 5G networks signed between KT and NEC in August 2015. The carrier aims to introduce radio transmission using E-Band spectrum in order to establish mobile backhaul networks for 5G services, especially in mountainous areas, where it is difficult to lay optical fibres.

E-band spectrum’s characteristics, such as wider communications channels, higher linearity and lower atmospheric attenuation compared with other spectrum bands, make it ideal for large-capacity wireless transmission, the operator said.

In this PoC, the iPASOLINK EX, NEC’s ultra-compact microwave communications system which operates with E-Band spectrum, was used to interconnect KT’s LTE base stations with high-speed and high-capacity wireless links.

As iPASOLINK EX supports ultra-multilevel modulation (256QAM - Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) technology, high capacity transmission of up to 3.2Gbps, on a par with fibre optic cable, is possible. In addition, its support of narrow band transmission (channel width of 250MHz and 500MHz) enables telecom operators to efficiently utilise the frequency bands assigned to them.

Hideyuki Muto, deputy general manager, Mobile Wireless Solution Division, NEC Corporation, said: “NEC’s iPASOLINK EX can operate in harsh environments, and is easy to install at various outdoor locations without large scale installation works because it is compact and light weight.

“This joint PoC took advantage of these features in order to implement a high-capacity mobile backhaul network in snowy, mountainous areas very quickly. Going forward, NEC will strengthen its partnership with KT to contribute to the launch of their 5G trial services in 2018.”

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