More 5G and 5G-related plans have been announced in both Asia and Eastern Europe in yet another busy week for the next generation of mobile communications.
This week has seen more 5G-related announcements, but the one that has caused the most interest came from Shanghai. China Unicom has been reported as planning to expand the footprint of its 5G test network to 40 cities, but is also said to be moving its 5G launch plan forward to May. Most of the trials will involve hotspots but seven will cover the main areas of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Xiong'an.
The announcements were made at Unicom's partner conference in Shanghai, which was also attended by Qualcomm and several of its OEM partners – including OnePlus, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, nubia and ZTE. They were showcasing launch devices for Unicom's upcoming service (to be called 5Gn).
But there’s rarely a single 5G news story most weeks and indeed there have been reports from its local press that Indonesia aims to assess the potential of 5G technologies operating at 3.5GHz. It plans to do so after the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) taking place in Egypt in October this year. Trials of 5G by the leading operators are, however, at a very early stage so far and spectrum availability may yet be an issue.
Slightly more peripheral to 5G is testing of 32×32 Massive MIMO technology in Lviv by Ukrainian mobile operator Lifecell. MIMO’s role may simply be to help Lifecell keep up with rising demand and the pressure on quality that can bring. But 5G is also a consideration: the test reportedly involved active 1800MHz/2600MHz antenna modules supporting 32×32 MIMO, which are compatible with future simultaneous 4G/5G technology usage.