ZTE signs Pre5G MoU with Hutchison Drei Austria

24 Feb 2016

ZTE announced that it has signed a Pre5G MOU with Hutchison Drei Austria to build the first Pre5G trial site in Europe. "Drei" is the German word for "three" which ties the Austrian telco to the global "3" brand while adding local flavor.

In a group interview at Mobile World Congress, ZTE VP Zhang Jianguo said his firm had been working with Drei for over six years. "ZTE’s proposal involves using core 5G technologies already on 4G networks to effectively alleviate the pressure of the data traffic surge on telecom operators’ networks before the standardization of 5G technologies," said the firm in a statement. "In 2015, ZTE's Pre5G Massive MIMO base station passed field tests on many operators' networks, and will be commercially available on a large scale in 2016."

At the interview, Drei CTO Matthias Baldermann said his firm has experienced dramatic traffic growth in recent years, with over 50% due to video. "We're the maverick in the European market," said Baldermann. "We have a market share of 28% but handle two-thirds of all traffic in Austria."

He said that Drei would begin trials of the new ZTE gear in the next few months.

Zhang said that speeds of four to six times over 4G LTE were expected over 6K LTE sites in Austria, and that existing handsets would continue to be supported.

"Data demands will continue to grow, and to what extent? We don't know," said Baldermann.

He said that while technological evolution will help answer questions: "At the end of the day, success is found in customer satisfaction."

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