China Mobile, Intel and Huawei complete 5G interoperability testing

China Mobile, Intel and Huawei have completed interoperability testing that should act as a catalyst for the commercialisation of 5G networking equipment.

The first commercial 5G networks are expected to go live later this year, offering fixed wireless access (FWA) broadband to certain parts of the US. Meanwhile the first 5G compatible smartphones are set to arrive in 2019, while 2020 will most likely see the first UK 5G network.

But to get to that point, it is essential that networking kit from various vendors is able to work together. Samsung and Nokia for example have been working together to ensure the establishment of a “healthy ecosystem”.

5G network testing

The operator announced its intention to launch 5G in 2019 at Mobile World Congress (MWC) earlier this year, aiding China’s hopes of being a leader in the field.

These latest tests, conducted at the China Mobile Research Institute, used C-Band spectrum and the ‘Release 15’ standard of 5G, which includes new radio technologies known as 5G New Radio (5G NR). This allowed the research partners to verify the compatibility of the 5G NR-compatible terminal and network.

“The success of this interoperability test can provide more kinds of terminals for the follow-up China Mobile's 5G scale test, and also providing a large-scale verification of 5G,” declared Huang Yuhong, head of the China Mobile Research Institute.

“China Mobile will release the first version of its 5G commercial product requirements this year and launch the first pre-commercial terminals in 2019, which will play an important role in such areas as fixed home access, industry video and smart manufacturing.”

The three companies have said they will continue to work together to support the mobile industry, with China Mobile planning to hold more 5G trials in major cities.

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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.