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Belgian operator conducts 5G testing with China's Huawei

Xinhua, November 15, 2016 Adjust font size:

Belgian operator Proximus announced on Monday that it had begun a testing project of the 5G mobile technology in cooperation with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

The latest move of Proximus makes it the first Belgian operator to test the 5G technology, the company said at a press conference.

The first tests achieved in a lab environment a peak connection speed of 70 gigabits per second, over 100 times faster than the current 4G, said Geert Standaert, chief technology officer at Proximus.

As technical standards and spectrum of the 5G technology remain undecided, it could still take years before customers can enjoy such high speeds.

Proximus aims to make 5G available in Belgium by 2020, and will put the 4.5G technology, which allows a peak speed of 450 megabits per second, into trial operation in 2017 in "a certain number of Belgian cities."

"We want to get a really good understanding of the potential of 5G. Then we can be aware of the investments in our networks," Standaert said, pointing out that the sharp increase in mobile data traffic expected for the coming years made the 5G development necessary.

He said that experts expected mobile data traffic to grow at least eightfold by 2020, due to the increase in the number of smartphones, the revolutionary upgrades in video formats, and the development of the Internet of Things.

"From a technical point of view, 5G requires additional spectrum and an upgrade to the current mobile network, which can be achieved by installing small cells," Standaert explained.

"The cells have been successfully tested in Antwerp since the end of last year," Standaert noted.

"We want to be ready for the future, and take the first step towards the mobile internet of the next generation," he added. Endit