Vodafone Portugal has successfully demonstrated technology that can narrow the gap between 4G and the future network response and performance capabilities of 5G.

Vodafone Portugal’s headquarters where they have been trialing lower latency 4G. Picture Credit: Vodafone Portugal.

5G is expected to deliver real time network response times of less than 20 milliseconds (ms) for consumer applications, improving the experience for applications like gaming and augmented and virtual reality.

In some business scenarios, like smart factories, network response times could be less than 5ms.

Vodafone Portugal was the first operator in the world to test Ericsson’s 4G low latency software in the network.

The Vodafone Portugal team who conducted the trial including (front row l-r): Pedro Lourenço, system engineering manager, Vodafone Portugal; João Nascimento, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone Portugal; and Pedro Santos, Head of Vodafone Portugal’s 5G Hub. Picture credit: Vodafone Portugal

The trial used equipment from Ericsson Radio System and included the transmission of files to a test device powered by a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 855 processor while measuring network response time – latency – under several conditions.

By applying 4G features such as Instant Uplink Access, the technology companies generated results that showed a consistent improvement of up to 35% in the round-trip time (between the device data request and data receivable), compared to regular dynamic scheduling.

These fast uplink access features are defined in the 3GPP Release 14 standards for 4G networks and improve the network latency performance with the reduction of uplink interference towards other users and also reduce mobile phone battery consumption.

João Nascimento, CTO of Vodafone Portugal said: “This is an important milestone in our journey to 5G. Together with Ericsson, we are testing for the first time 4G features with the latency reduction that will both improve the user experience and enable new use cases.”

Luís Silva, CEO of Ericsson Portugal, added: “Ericsson and Vodafone have a strong partnership in Radio in Portugal. The results of this test represent a breakthrough on top of today’s solutions, where existing 4G networks can be upgraded to support such low latency performance that previously could not be achieved without impacting remaining users’ performance in the network.”

Dino Flore, vice president of Technology, Qualcomm EMEA, said: “We are pleased to have worked with Vodafone and Ericsson on this significant milestone which will ultimately deliver tangible benefits to consumers as the roll-out to 5G continues to gather pace.”

These features are expected to be available for use in devices in Portugal during 2019 and will enable a faster network response time, taking the end-user experience to the next level for customers using latency-sensitive apps.

 

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