"To fulfill our aim to launch 5G by 2020, KDDI will continue exploring real-life scenario experiments for diverse 5G use and business cases together with Samsung."
Many of the world's rail passengers frustrated with poor bandwidth speeds will be pleading with Asia to share their expertise after 5G was successfully tested on a train in the country, achieving peak download speeds of 1.7Gbps.
Carried out on a moving train travelling between two stations one mile apart, the test was a joint effort between Japanese telecommunications company, KDDI, and South Korean tech giant, Samsung, ahead of an intended introduction in 2020.
In completing the test, KDDI and Samsung were able to create a successful downlink and uplink handover while the train was moving at more than 60 mph. To prove the 5G download speeds, which took place near to Saitama in Japan, 8K video (the current highest resolution video available) was downloaded via the train’s on-board router. Footage from a 4K video mounted on the train was also able to be uploaded.
Highlighting just how advanced the 5G test was, Transport for London (TfL) announced two weeks ago that it hoped to roll out 4G mobile connections across its network by 2019, only one year before Japan could introduce 5G on its trains. The London tests were completed in the summer on the Waterloo & City line between TfL and the UK’s four main mobile phone service providers: Vodafone, O2, Three and EE.
The arrival of a 5G connection, which essentially groups together bandwidth to boost its range, would be warmly welcomed not just by passengers but also train operators, due to the fact it would enable vastly improved passenger information and increased security and analytics. Japan’s first-ever tests of this technology actually began life on the roads, not the tracks, where the KDDI-Samsung partnership that was formed in 2015 strapped a device to the roof of a car that drove through the streets of Tokyo. A high-speed mobility test was also completed at nearly 125mph in Yongin, South Korea.
Speaking after the Japan 5G test, Yoshiaki Uchida, senior managing executive officer at KDDI, said the technology breakthrough would elevate rail to a whole new dimension and showed that 5G commercialisation was near. “To fulfill our aim to launch 5G by 2020, KDDI will continue exploring real-life scenario experiments for diverse 5G use and business cases together with Samsung,” said Uchida.
Samsung said that 5G had the potential to “transform the landscape of our daily lives”.
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