Whether for business or leisure, travelling and commuting is part of our daily routine. Thanks to the smartphones, tablets and high speed mobile network coverage, the journey is never boring. We can choose to be online working, browsing, playing games or watching videos..
But what happens if we want to watch our favourite channels in an extreme, High Speed Railway (HSR) environment, where train speed can exceed 400 km/h?
How will 5G networks provide 100 Mbit/s for those passengers who wish to consume ultra-high definition video or use other new bandwidth demanding services – like immersive virtual reality?
Where else could the quest for answers to these questions start than in China – the country that boasts the world’s largest high-speed railway network – among them the Shanghai Maglev Train, which holds the current worldwide speed record clocking a maximum normal operation speed of 431 km/h.
Nokia Bell Labs and Beijing Jiaotong University teamed up to develop a brand new predictive channel estimation algorithm based on historical channel statistics associated with the physical location of a train at any given time.
This year at Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, in collaboration with China Telecom, they demonstrated the industry’s first 5G network simulation system for High Speed trains using a 3D environment and ray tracing channel model.
Three scenarios were covered in the simulation system: – urban, viaduct and cutting, which are typical in a railway mobile deployment environment. In the technical implementation, 5G micro cells deployed on 3.5GHz with 100MHz bandwidth are used for the data access, while macro cells are used for control plane transmission.
The simulation proved that this new predictive channel estimation algorithm can significantly improve the 5G performance by boosting throughput more than 70% to achieve 100 Mbit/s of end user bandwidth in a high-speed rail environment.
This is just one example of how 5G will support the very diverse set of requirements, like delivering mobile broadband connectivity at high speeds for different modes of transportation including metros, buses and cars.And the creative wheels are already spinning around the world on ways to monetize it, with new business models like in-vehicle infotainment to keep us informed and connected in our daily travels.
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