The MTN Nigeria 5G trial achieved a download speed of 17 seconds for a 2GB movie in one of the successful tests carried out across six cities in the country, the telecoms regulator’s records reviewed by Technology Times have shown.
The fast movies download is one of several successful outcomes of the MTN Nigeria 5G trials conducted across six locations in the country by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as a proof of concept of the fifth-generation mobile network, the telecoms regulator reveals in the “Consultation Document for Deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Technology in Nigeria.”
According to experts, 5G technology is significantly faster (more than 10 times faster) than 4G LTE—whereas, its predecessor recorded between 300 Mbps and 1 Gbps while 5G boasts speeds of 1 to 10 Gbps as well as lower latency and higher bandwidth to transmit voice, data, video and other services.
In the document, NCC says its goal to ensure that “Nigeria becomes one of the leading nations with 5G technology deployed in a manner that is beneficial to all the stakeholders and contributes maximally to the Digital Economy Policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
The Nigerian regulator says that “5G Technology will initiate several new changes in mobile connectivity with an enormous capacity to boost productivity and grow the economy. These are the key reasons behind the Commission’s drive to ensure the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.
“Mobile technology has not stopped growing since the commercial implementation of the first telephone system in 1876. It is estimated that by the end of the year 2020, global mobile data traffic would reach a monthly rate of 30.6 exabytes, as compared to 3.7 exabytes in 2015. That is a compound annual growth rate of 53%. Each mobile communications technology brings with it, new capabilities that ultimately transform both work and interpersonal communications”, according to NCC.
The regulator does not want Nigerian left behind as overall excitements, rollouts, use cases, and growth projections have trailed the 5G technology.
According to NCC, “5G represents the fifth generation in mobile communications evolution and an incremental deployment is expected over the following decade. 5G is designed to be a system of systems that will bring flexibility to mobile, fixed and broadcast networks and support more extensive data requirements. The technology will impact on the way interactions are done by enabling in some cases unforeseen business models, enhanced lifestyles all resulting in increased productivity.
“Some of the technologies already being touted include automated cars and advanced manufacturing, Internet of things (IoT) which will enable thousands of connected devices, such as smart energy meters, work together and share information. These changes and innovation have enormous economic benefits. IHS Economics estimated that 5G would enable USD$12.3 trillion of global economic output in 2035.”
Meanwhile, NCC picked the largest mobile network operator in the country, MTN Nigeria, to conduct the 5G trial using two selected frequency bands, the 3.5GHz and the 26GHz frequencies, to test for key network characteristics that include: a. Throughput, Latency and Jitter measurements; b. Co-channel interference impact on QoS; c. Handover performance between access points (as applicable); d. Type/models of 5G terminals used for the test; e. Types of services (voice, data, video, etc.) and f. Health and safety (EMF radiation level), according to the test results released by the telecoms regulator.
Following the success of the 5G trial, the telecoms regulator recently announced the formation of a team responsible for the sale of the spectrum that will be used by operators to roll out commercial services in the country.
According to the post-test report reviewed by Technology Times, the 5G trials were carried out by MTN in six locations including Abuja, Calabar, Lagos, Kano, Abeokuta, and Ibadan.
The MTN Nigeria 5G trials delivered the promises of the mobile technology platform as it was able to support Artificial Intelligence (AI), fast speed transmission for voice, video, and data, holographic video, among others as revealed by the NCC test results below:
MTN 5G trial in Abuja
In Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory and Nigeria’s seat of power, the MTN 5G trial was carried out using the 800MHz bandwidth in the 26GHz mm wave for 5G network, and 20MHz bandwidth in the 3.5GHz band for the 4G LTE network to compare download speed for a 2G movie.
The 2G movie was downloaded within 17 seconds on the 5G network that used the 26GHz and five minutes on the 4G network that used the 3.%GHz with maximum download throughput of 1.7Gbps and 70mbps respectively.
The high point of the Abuja 5G trial that tested for voice, data and video call when an Artificial Intelligence (AI) penalty test was conducted on both the 5G and 4G networks.
“Under the 5G network, the mechanical arm blocked the shot at a higher probability while under the 4G network, the mechanical arm blocked the shot at a lower probability”, according to NCC.
Also the participator “felt wholly immersed” in the conversations with live holograms when a holographic video call was made using the 5G network at the Abuja trail.
A latency of only one second was recorded during the test call from a voice over new radio (VoNR) topology in Lagos to a voice over LTE topology in Abuja.
MTN 5G trial in Calabar
In Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, the 5G trial was demonstrated on non-standalone architecture with tests conducted for voice, data and video call.
The test result shows that the 5G service which used 100MHz bandwidth on the 3.5GHz band was able to deliver a maximum download speed of 2073Mbps and an upload speed of 122Mbps.
The latency recorded for voice over LTE (VoLTE) was 6.8ms while that of data was 167ms during the trial that also featured running bionic robot and holographic test on the 5G network, according to NCC.
MTN 5G trial in Lagos
In Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital and capital of Lagos State, the MTN 5G trial recorded a major leap forward as “a doctor was able to effectively carry out a scan with the haptic glove over the 5G network” during the demonstration.
This was achieved when a connected healthcare architecture was demonstrated using a 5G core network and a remotely located IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) server for voice and video connectivity on the non-standalone network architecture used for the Lagos trials.
“The Lagos site with 20MHz 4X4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) in the 3.5GHz band achieved a download speed of 318Mbps (dual connectivity of 4G and 5G) and a download speed of 209Mbps (5G only)”, according to the NCC report which cited that MTN could not conduct the Lagos trial “using the assigned 26Ghz band due to Ericsson’s inability to provide 26GHz equipment.”
The Lagos trial tested for voice, data, and video services.
During the co-channel interference impact on quality of service test, “MTN experienced some interference in 3410 – 3420 from surrounding MTN existing TDD or WiMAX sites 20MHz re-farmed for the 5G”, NCC says.
However, at the Lagos trial, the latency recorded for voice over LTE (VoLTE) was one second while that of data was 120 minutes.
MTN 5G trial in Kano
In Kano, the capital city of Kano State, during the trial that was conducted on a non-standalone network architecture using a bandwidth of 40MHz in the 3.5GHz band, MTN Nigeria was able to achieve a download speed of 515Mbps and an upload speed of 21.8Mbps.
During the trial that tested for voice, data and video call, the latency recorded for voice over LTE (VoLTE) was between five to seven seconds while “latency for data was 173ms” according to the NCC report.
“MTN attributed this latency to the latency of the NSA architecture as well as the distance of the site to international gateways”, the report says.
MTN 5G trial in Abeokuta
In Abeokuta, the capital city of Ogun State, the MTN Nigeria 5G trial was conducted on a non-standalone network architecture with the test carried out for data service only.
MTN which conducted the demonstration using a 5G customer premises equipment was able to achieve a download speed of 563Mbps and an upload speed of 45.7Mbps, while the “latency for data was 19ms”, according to the regulator’s report.
MTN 5G trial in Ibadan, Oyo State
In Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, the MTN Nigeria 5G trial used a non-standalone network architecture to test for data service alone.
The MNO conducted the demonstration using 5G customer premises equipment (CPE) and successfully achieved a download speed of 693Mbps and an upload speed of 31.9Mbps.
According to the result, a 4G phone was also connected to the 5G CPE using WiFi, and a download speed of 376Mbps was recorded, while “latency for data was 183ms.”
MTN Nigeria 5G trial: Clean bill of health
NCC also says that the deployment of the 5G technology on the Electromagnetic Spectrum “created a need for the study of the electromagnetic radiation levels which would be generated by the 5G infrastructure.”
The tests, which were conducted in accordance with the 1998 guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), were assessed “for general public exposure to time-varying electromagnetic fields which were in force at the time of the trials.”
According to the Nigerian telecoms regulator, results of EMF radiation of the 5G trial indicates that “the highest radiation at 26 GHz millimeter wave at 5m away from source is 4.3 % and at 30m from the source is 0.142 %, while the highest radiation at 3.5 GHz at 5m away from the source is 11.4 % and at 30m away from the source is 1.9 % of ICNIRP Specification of 61 v/m for frequency range 2-300 GHz.”
NCC also says that “these results are far below the ICNIRP specification for protection of members of the public in the Guidelines and therefore suggest that no public health hazards are expected from the use of 5G in Nigeria.”