Today, Salt and Nokia successfully showcased how the fifth generation of mobile technology (5G) will enable new applications and business cases, such as virtual and augmented reality, driverless cars and remotely controlled road convoys as well as the seamless automatization of complex production and service processes for mobile customers in Switzerland.
The 5G demonstration which took place in Salt’s headquarters in Renens exhibited novel 5G functions such as ultra-fast network speed and a much reduced latency compared to 4G. An exceptional temporary license was obtained from the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) to perform the tests in the 3.5 GHz frequency band, which will be at the core of the new radio configuration to be applied for the introduction of 5G on Salt’s network as of 2020. This technological breakthrough will pave the way for a countrywide implementation of a key requisite of Switzerland’s “digital strategy” – the provision of every smartphone user with the technological means to reap the benefits of an ever more digital world.
By means of a 5G antenna with 8X8 MIMO the following end-to-end applications were demonstrated:
- The highest data download speed ever measured on mobile technology in Switzerland with 4.5 Gbps in the 3.5 GHz (band 42) frequency band was achieved in the broadband test;
- Virtual reality applications demonstrated the ultra-fast network latency (in the range of 1 millisecond) under real conditions and the overall stability of the 5G network;
- 360° live video transmitted from second locations also confirmed the ultra-fast network latency under real conditions and the capacity of the 5G network;
Not only will 5G serve the Swiss population’s continuously growing need for mobility and reachability while on the go but it will also complement already existing high-speed broadband infrastructures in the ground in remote areas and instances where the deployment of fibre networks is economically not viable.
Salt has already started to prepare its network for this big next step towards the telecommunications infrastructure of tomorrow and continues to follow attentively evolutions around the 5G ecosystem as a whole as well as the frequency allocation announced for H2 2018 by the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom).
It is of utmost importance for Swiss customers and the economy as a whole to ensure that this upcoming mobile frequency allocation takes place under fair conditions. This is particularly relevant for the 700 MHz and 3.5 GHz spectrums, which are key for the implementation of 5G in Switzerland. In order to ensure appropriate market conditions and foster 5G development, every operator should be offered a fair opportunity to obtain a critical amount of spectrum in the 700 MHz (i.e. 2 x 10 MHz) and in the 3.5 GHz (i.e. 80 MHz) frequency bands, through caps for instance. Otherwise ComCom could be responsible for driving operators out of the market.
Andreas Schönenberger, CEO Salt Mobile said: « With this demonstration, Salt exhibits its technological readiness for the mobile infrastructure of tomorrow. We can’t wait to start the rollout of 5G and enable our customers to fully take advantage of the immense opportunities which digitization holds for them. »
Frédéric Bénéteau, Head of Customer Business Team at Nokia added: « Nokia is proud to assist its long-standing customer in the preparations for a national deployment of 5G in Switzerland. We are very enthusiastic about this opportunity to showcase our know-how and international expertise in delivering the mobile infrastructure of tomorrow. »