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Huawei and Telefónica successfully test 5G UCNC radio access networks

November 25, 2016

Chinese networking and telecoms equipment provider Huawei has completed the world's first proof-of-concept tests for 5G UCNC (user centric and no cell) RAN (radio access network) architecture, in collaboration with Spain's Telefónica.

The two companies announced the milestone this week.

5G UCNC is one of the 5G innovation projects that come under the 5G&NG-RAN Joint Innovation Agreement signed by Huawei and Telefónica in June 2016.

UCNC is a novel radio access framework evolved from the traditional cell-centric access protocol to a user-centric protocol with hyper-cell abstraction. According to Huawei, UCNC can dramatically reduce the over-the-air protocol signaling overhead and access protocol latency, as well as increase the number of air-interface connection links.

In the proof-of-concept tests conducted at the Telefónica-Huawei 5G Joint Innovation Lab, the number of 5G connections per cell increased by 233%, the signaling overhead decreased by 78%, and the latency decreased by 95% compared with state-of the-art LTE.

The companies plan further tests, aimed at enhancing the cell edge spectral efficiency in order to avoid end-user experience degradation at the cell edges and any service interruption across the network.

In addition to the UCNC proof-of-concept tests, Huawei and Telefónica successfully demonstrated mmWave Multi-User MIMO technology based on 5G NR (New Radio) and Massive MIMO TDD technology. 70Gbps cell throughput was reached by mmWave Multi-User MIMO by delivering more than 35Gbps data rates to each user, which is 100 times faster than current LTE data rates, Huawei said.

"Our joint achievement on the Proof-of-Concept UCNC for NR RAN and trials for the fiber-like mmWave technology will pave the way from 5G innovation to become a commercial reality," said Dr Tong Wen, Huawei Fellow and Huawei Wireless CTO. "The novel RAN architecture concept based on cloud technology will lay the foundation for future 5G services and applications."

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