3 Hong Kong, the mobile communications division of Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings (HTHKH) and Huawei, have announced progress in installing core network infrastructure and radio-access technology ready for 5G service. The collaboration covers deployment of a telco cloud to cloudify 3G and 4G core networks. 3 Hong Kong has also announced a plan to conduct in-and-outdoor commercial network trials in the 3.5GHz, 26 GHz and 28 GHz (millimetre wave) 5G spectrum bands.
The company is currently rolling out network infrastructure in order to launch a 5G service. This will be done just as soon as 5G spectrum standards have been finalised and compatible mobile devices become available, the company said.
“We have earmarked the 26 GHz and 28 GHz 5G spectrum bands – as well as the 3.5GHz spectrum band – which are expected to be auctioned by the end of 2019. We are determined to provide 5G mobile service as rapidly as we possibly can after obtaining the spectrum required”, said Cliff Woo, HTHKH Executive Director and CEO.
3 Hong Kong and Huawei started building a telco cloud back at the end of 2016, as part of its core network architecture. The first phase focused on connectivity from mobile core network to the Internet – as well as cloudification of enterprises, the IP multimedia subsystem – and is now in service, following completion in 2017. The second phase comprises mobile management of radio stations based on an open cloudified infrastructure built on network function virtualisation. This is expected to enable 3 Hong Kong to deploy network resources in accordance with the types of services being utilised by customers with various needs. Completion of the project is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019.
3 Hong Kong completed indoor radio development tests in the 3.5GHz 5G spectrum band at the end of 2017. The company has been granted temporary permits by the Communications Authority to conduct in-and-outdoor 5G trials in the 3.5GHz, 26GHz and 28GHz bands of the millimetre wave spectrum. This will involve 5G New Radio (5G NR) user equipment from Huawei and will take place in the third quarter of 2018.