China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) announced what it claims to be Hong Kong’s first 5G Standalone (SA) network test.
The operator said in a release that the radio cell sites supporting both 5G SA and NSA network are now installed for a trial at China Mobile 5G Innovation Centre Hong Kong Open Lab in Hong Kong Science Park and Mita Internet Data Centre in Kwai Chung.
Sean Lee, Director and CEO of China Mobile Hong Kong, said: “The 5G SA network is built on Service Based Architecture (SBA) that features three essential capabilities including Network Slicing, Mobile Edge Computing and VoNR. However, we are now installing 5G NR radio equipment at the existing 4G LTE base stations, in order to launch 5G services with NSA infrastructure as soon as possible.”
China Mobile highlighted that 5G SA is equipped with a new 5G Core which is a cloud-native and SBA network. The 5G core enables network slicing to “deliver dedicated and customized networks with specific quality of service” and resources for 5G applications in different industries, the carrier said.
“MEC enables cloud computing capabilities and IT resources at the customer edge of [the]cellular network. With the separation of control and user plane, 5G Core in [a]SA network can optimize MEC deployment by delivering a distributed computing environment in [the]mobile network. It facilitates application and service hosting that [requires]fast response time and high security,” the statement reads. “5G SA network also allows mobile operators to open their network and MEC capabilities to authorized third parties in developing innovative application and content. At the moment, it is envisaged that MEC is an essential capability for the advancement of a number of vertical industries including intelligent manufacturing, live cloud games and V2X.”
China Mobile Hong Kong also said that it has completed what it claims to be the first Voice over NewRadio (VoNR) call.
China Mobile Hong Kong, as well as rival carriers, secured key 5G frequencies in recent spectrum auctions carried out by Hong Kong’s Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA).
In October, the carrier secured 5G spectrum in the 4.9 GHz band as well as 50 megahertz of 3.5 GHz spectrum.
The regulator still plans to auction additional 5G spectrum in the 3.3 GHz band.
China Mobile has already deployed nearly 50,000 5G base stations across China, according to recent press reports.
China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile services provider in terms of subscribers, currently provides 5G services in 50 Chinese cities.
According to a report by China Daily, the carrier aims to end next year with a total of 70 million 5G users, with a planned investment of CNY20 billion ($2.85 billion).