Across the world, pockets of 5G connectivity are popping up on a daily basis, as major players in the telecommunications and Internet connectivity space seek to modernise and expand their coverage.
Dutch internet and wireless connectivity provider VEON announced this morning that its joint venture company, KaR-Tel (which operates under the Beeline brand) has launched a large-scale 5G network trial in Shymkent, Kazakhstan, in partnership with Nokia.
"This large-scale trial with our long-standing partner KaR-Tel LLC is an important step towards the broad deployment of 5G technology in Kazakhstan and Central Asia,” said Mikko Lavanti, Head of Central East & Central Asia at Nokia.
“Real-life testing is crucial for developing a 5G ecosystem to the benefit of consumers, industry and the economy,” he continued. “Nokia is enabling this trial with our end-to-end 5G technology, as well as sharing our experience of more than 100 technical 5G engagements around the world."
Beeline, a large-scale mobile network operator in the country, is hosting the 5G trial, making this one of the largest 5G trials to date in Central Asia. The network architecture is aligned with the latest 5G release, and allows 5G devices to aggregate LTE and 5G radio channels to achieve higher download speeds. Initial speed tests, using the 3.7 GHz band, show a downlink speed of 1.0GB per second.
The trial's 5G coverage spreads over thirteen square kilometres, allowing a number of fixed wireless and mobile use cases to be tested in real-life conditions, including robotics for industry applications and virtual reality experiences such as gaming and 360-degree TV streaming.
"Our 5G trial in Kazakhstan is a further sign that VEON is embracing a 5G future that provides customers with cutting-edge technology to empower their personal or business ambitions,”said Yogesh Malik, VEON's Chief Technology Officer. “This 5G trial, alongside others in our operating companies, will provide valuable insights so we can learn, test and evaluate the most efficient applications of 5G for our customers."