Networking

'World's first' 5G call completed by Vodafone and Huawei

The firms completed the call using the new 3GPP 5G standard.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Vodafone and Huawei completed the world's first 5G call using the non-standalone 3GPP 5G new radio standard and sub6 GHz spectrum.
  • Investing in and building a 5G network will generate $533 billion in US gross domestic product and $1.2 trillion in long-run consumer benefits, according to the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research.

On Wednesday, Vodafone and Huawei announced that they had completed the world's first 5G call, using the non-standalone 3GPP 5G new radio standard and sub-6 GHz spectrum.

The call took place in Spain, ahead of Mobile World Congress, and used a test network and test device to perform the dual connectivity 4G to 5G live data call. The connection started on 4G, according to a Vodafone press release, and then established the data connection on 5G. The engineers involved also successfully tested a live HD video call using the same method, the release noted.

Investing in and building a 5G network will generate $533 billion in US gross domestic product (GDP) and $1.2 trillion in long-run consumer benefits from these broadband wireless services, according to a recent report from the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research. However, this payout will only be possible if service providers make massive upgrades to current mobile service infrastructure, which require state and local governments to take steps to streamline regulations and encourage deployment, the report noted.

SEE: Electronic communication policy (Tech Pro Research)

If the infrastructure is properly built out, 5G is poised to revolutionize many industries, including mission-critical services and education.

The Vodafone/Huawei test marks the first demonstration of all of the end-to-end elements of a 5G call, according to the release—not just data over a 5G connection, but the control information required to set up the call and route it between 4G and 5G networks.

"This first 5G call has been achieved only two months after 3GPP completed the Non-standalone NR standard and so is much sooner than most in the industry were expecting it to happen," Peter Meissner, CEO and member of the board of the NGMN Alliance, said in the release. "This sends out the very promising signal to the world that the industry is ready to introduce 5G services for customers in due course."

The two companies built a 5G NR end-to-end test network for the trial, and used 3.7GHz spectrum. They also used Huawei Radio Access Network and core network equipment to support the test with microservice-centric architecture, control plane/user plane separation, and unified access and network slicing technology.

"This test result shows the maturity of 5G based on the 3GPP standard," Yang Chaobin, president of Huawei's 5G product line, said in the release. "We are ready to continue our collaboration with Vodafone and enter commercial trials."

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Image: iStockphoto/jamesteohart

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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