Huawei and MTN have announced a new 5G trial to demonstrate their readiness to roll out the technology in South Africa as soon as radio frequency spectrum becomes available.
The demo runs on test spectrum in the 3.5GHz band, which is also called the C-Band or “golden band”. Huawei said that its previous demonstrations with MTN used much higher-frequency spectrum in the 28GHz band.
MTN said that the demo uses real 5G non-standalone equipment, and is connected to its live core network in Cape Town.
Using a 5G-capable smartphone, Huawei and MTN performed a live synthetic speed test, achieving a download speed result of just under 1.5Gbps. The operator also highlighted the low latency, which was stable at 8ms.
Previous speed test results on the same device showed several results of up to 1.6Gbps.
MTN was allocated 100MHz of C-Band test spectrum for the duration of AfricaCom, which is where it announced the trial with Huawei on Tuesday. The trial will run in a demo venue on the first floor of the Cape Town International Convention Centre during the conference.
Even though the technology is capable of phenomenal speeds, MTN said that it is necessary to move beyond just looking at the speeds, and see the use cases. To that end, it demonstrated how the technology can be used in “Safe City” applications, such as facial recognition using glasses with a camera built-in. The two companies are also running an online gaming demo using the virtual reality title Beat Sabre.