Results Of First Large-Scale 5G Wireless Test: Faster Than Google Fiber

While Verizon and other U.S. carriers are prepping to test next-generation 5G wireless service, Chinese electronics biggie Huawei says it has just completed its first “large-scale field trial” of 5G and saw download speeds that were up to several times that of current high-speed fiberoptic networks.

Huawei partnered with Japanese telecom giant NTT DOCOMO to launch the test in Chengdu, China. The companies streamed the results to the Huawei booth at the CEATEC JAPAN 2015 in the Japanese city of Chiba.

The test involves the concurrent use of 24 devices on the 5G network. According to Huawei, the average download speed was 1.34Gbps and peaked at 3.6Gbps. That’s nearly four times the speed of Google Fiber, and almost twice the speed of Comcast’s new, incredibly expensive, fiber service.

“Results like these show we are making rapid progress and are on the right path,” said Dr. Wen Tong, Huawei Fellow and CTO of Huawei Wireless Networks, in a statement. “I am confident that what we have learned here will be reflected in even more innovative technological advances as we continue working on 5G research.”

As BGR points out, early heavily controlled tests of 5G have demonstrated even faster speeds of 10Gbps, but those trials were done under circumstances that won’t be found in the real world when 5G eventually rolls out.

Speaking yesterday at the Code/Mobile conference in California, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel says the Commission is preparing to lay the groundwork for next-gen networks.

While 5G wireless data will likely outperform current cable and fiber service, Internet providers are working on technology that should vastly improve connection speeds.

Comcast is in the process of testing DOCSIS 3.1 tech that uses existing cable lines but can provide speeds several times that of today’s fiber networks. It hopes to have that service rolling out in 2018.

Verizon recently completed a field test of new NG-PON2 technology that speeds up service on its FiOS fiber lines without having to replace them. Verizon believes it may ultimately be possible to deliver download speeds of anywhere from 40-80Gbps over these lines.