China Mobile Hong Kong has announced it has become the first network provider in the city to complete end-to-end 5G network testing from client terminals to application.
During lab testing, the company implemented 5G in a static environment using 5G candidate spectrum in the 28-GHz millimeter wave, as well 5G enabling technology 4x4 multiple input multiple output (4x4 MIMO).
The test network achieving data transmission speeds of 14Gbps, compared to the 8Gbps achieved by CMHK's rivals during 2x2 MIMO testing. The company also achieved speeds of up to 700Mbps in a simulated indoor environment using 100 MHz of lower-band 3.5-GHz spectrum.
CMHK added that the 5G network design would allow computers and non-5G mobile devices to connect to it via Wi-Fi emitted by customer premises equipment.
Early 5G deployments are expected to focus on fixed wireless connectivity to households, because the first 5G smartphones are not expected to be widely available until the second half of 2019.
Meanwhile analysis from wireless coverage mapping company OpenSignal has found that Hong Kong ranks fourth out of 12 major economic centers across East Asia in terms of 4G availability.
Hong Kong has a 4G availability of just over 90%, below regional leader Seoul (97.9%), as well as Tokyo (96.3%) and Bangkok (92.1%).
But there is not all that much room for improvement, with OpenSignal noting that while coverage in the most connected cities may reach 98% or even 99% in the next few years, it is unlikely to ever reach 100% due to the nature of building mobile networks.
There is by contrast significant room for improvement in terms of 4G speeds. OpenSignal last month published research finding that Hong Kong had an average 4G download speed of 16.8Mbps between March and May. This was below the global average of 16.9Mbps, and well below top-ranked Seoul's 48.3Mbps.
First published in Computerworld Hong Kong