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Vodafone, Xiaomi, and Qualcomm Technologies have tested some advanced 5G uplink technology, which they say will pave the way for faster upload speeds and wider coverage.
January 22, 2024
The test achieved peak upload speeds of up to 273 Mbps, with Vodafone claiming the enhanced 5G technology raises upload speeds closer to download levels whilst also extending coverage. ‘Most of today’s smartphones and home broadband services are capable of an average upload speed of 100 Mbps,’ says the release, though there will of course be a lot of variance between broadband and mobile speeds in general.
Vodafone says it is the first test of its kind in Europe. In terms of who brought what to the party, it took place in the Spanish city of Ciudad Real using Vodafone’s multi-vendor testing 5G network called ‘CREATE’ (Ciudad Real España Advanced Testing Environment) and its commercial 5G SA network in Hannover, Germany, and ran on the ‘next Xiaomi flagship smartphone’ loaded with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform.
It used a technique called Uplink Carrier Aggregation with Tx Switching, which combines multiple transmission channels supported by the smartphone and the mobile antenna.
All in all, the firms promise media uploads of ‘almost double the speed possible today’ when next generation devices arrive later this year – by which presumably they mean phones compatible with 5G SA tech.
“We want our customers to be among the first anywhere in the world to benefit from this new 5G feature when it becomes available,” said Alberto Ripepi, Chief Network Officer of Vodafone. “That’s why we are working with key partners to lead the industry in pulling together and testing the necessary network, silicon chips and devices to turn it into a reality, all while driving a stronger vendor and developer ecosystem.”
Enrico Salvatori, Senior Vice President and President, Qualcomm Europe/MEA of Qualcomm Europe added: “We are proud of our continued collaboration with Vodafone and Xiaomi to achieve another 5G milestone. The evolution of 5G towards 5G Standalone, the ultimate realisation of 5G technologies is a crucial step for enabling the full promise of 5G with 5G Advanced.”
Vodafone has launched 5G SA commercially in Germany and the UK alongside some pilots elsewhere, and plans to update its sites to support Uplink Carrier Aggregation with Tx Switching as new devices hit the market.
It launched what it claims is the UK’s first 5G standalone (SA) mobile private networking (MPN) service in April last year, opening the door to more specialised services that require end-to-end 5G infrastructure.
In fact the operator has been one of the more energetic firms when it comes to 5G SA, having conducted the UK’s first 5G SA trial in 2020, followed up a year later with a commercial pilot in three cities, more in 2023, and launching a 5G SA media innovation lab alongside Coventry University in 2023.
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