Korea's working on a cool combination: 5G and the Winter Olympics

KT and NEC have successfully trialed a high-frequency, gigabit-speed backhaul system

If you want to be one of the first to experience 5G mobile performance, get ready to bundle up.

South Korean carrier KT has said it wants to launch the first 5G network at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. On Thursday, KT announced a successful trial of one potential 5G technology in the mountain resort region.

The carrier tested a system from NEC that uses super-high frequencies to transmit data at speeds as high as 3.2Gbps (bits per second). Though the companies didn't mention the Olympic Games, and there's no guarantee the technology will be part of the 5G standard, it's no coincidence the trial took place high in the Taebaek Mountains.

KT used NEC's iPasolink EX ultra-compact microwave system instead of fiber for links between LTE base stations. It's well suited to the mountains, because laying fiber in steep terrain is hard. NEC's system is so small and light that it's relatively easy to deploy, the companies said.

The microwave system transmits data on frequencies between 70GHz and 80GHz, a band that doesn't lose as much of its signal going through the atmosphere as others do, according to NEC. The iPasolink also uses 256QAM, a form of encoding that lets it send more data.

High frequencies are expected to play a big part in 5G. There are wide swaths of little-used spectrum in so-called millimeter-wave bands that mobile networks have never used. Researchers are now starting to crack the technical issues that stood in the way.

While the KT-NEC trial used straight-line connections between base stations, researchers are working on ways for mobile devices to reach the nearest small cell using millimeter waves. Those techniques may lead to faster connections for users of eventual 5G networks.

Vendors and carriers looking to 5G are considering bands around 28GHz, 39GHz, 60GHz and other millimeter-wave frequencies. Current cellular networks operate below 6GHz.

The final 5G standard, and the bands that 5G networks can use, are expected to be locked down by 2020.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NetworkingTelecommunicationsKT5G2016 Winter Olympics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?