Huawei announced it is the first company to complete a 5G NSA (Non-Stand Alone) functional test based on 3GPP. The NSA test took place in the third-phase of China's 5G technology tests in Beijing’s Huairou District. The test was organized by the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group, which aims to meet the ITU’s International Mobile Telecommunication system target date of 2020.
The Huawei test marks the first 5G NSA functional test based on the official protocol version of 5G NR (New Radio), following the 3GPP announcement of completion of the 5G NR standard in December 2017.
The content of the test includes the basic functions of the physical layer defined by the 3GPP standard, physical channels, link adaptation and scheduling, multi-antenna technology, EN-DC (LTE-NR Dual-Connectivity), and CU-DU(Central Unit - Distributed Unit) separation architecture.
The NSA functional verification is an important part of China’s third-phase 5G technology R&D test, and will play a critical role in early implementation of 5G deployment by some leading operators.
During the C-Band test, Huawei adopted the world's first 5G end-to-end products launched at Mobile World Congress 2018. The Option 3x for NSA networking solution with limited impact on the inventory network was selected. 4G is used as the anchor point of the control plane.
LTE and 5G NR dual connectivity are used to maintain better service continuity in the initial stage of 5G deployment. The fast deployment of LTE-NR NSA is necessary in the initial stage of 5G era, which will be followed by the full-spectrum NR SA network.
“2018 is the first year of 5G commercial deployment,” said Yang Chaobin, President of Huawei's 5G product line. “Huawei’s focus today is on verification of the 5G commercial system in the third-phase of China's 5G technology R&D tests. NSA and SA are required to support the co-industry ecology, and NSA can be adopted quickly in live networks in the early stage of the 5G era.”
“SA will eventually enable digitization of the entire industry,” Yang added. “Huawei’s completion of the NSA functional test marks its first step to leading in the third-phase of China’s 5G technology R&D test. We will continue to work with industry partners to promote the maturation of 5G commercial products and the synergy of the industry chain.”
China's 5G technology R&D tests have been underway since 2016 and are expected to continue through the end of 2018. Three phases of tests are planned: 5G key technology trials, 5G technology solution verification, and 5G system verification.
The third-phase of China's 5G technology R&D test was officially launched in February 2018 in Beijing’s Huairou 5G field. Huawei's 5G trial network in Huairou is developing into a large-scale project to fully support NSA field tests in the coming months.