South Asia’s first 5G pilot transmission goes live

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Dialog Axiata yesterday announced a major step forward in Sri Lanka’s 5G journey with the commissioning of Asia’s first fully-functional and standards compliant 5G transmission using commercial grade base stations and end user devices.

Dialog’s pre-commercial 5G transmission was enabled in collaboration with the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), who has lead the region in making available spectrum in the 3.5GHz band for the piloting of pre-commercial 5G services. Dialog’s pilot 5G transmission delivers speeds in excess of 2 GBps in a real-world setting including base stations installed and commercial grade 5G home gateway routers, which can deliver 5G throughput to a host of wireless devices and applications across the spheres of video, gaming and automation.

5G technology is designed to deliver an era of ‘intelligent connectivity’, bringing together the power of 2GBps + transmission speeds alongside cutting-edge technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, robotics, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and machine learning based applications and cloud based enterprise networks.

5G networks will augment 4G services with fundamental advancements with respect to network speeds, throughput, traffic capacity and ultra-low latency.

TRCSL Director General P.R.S.P. Jayatilake in congratulating Dialog on embarking on the bold initiative of setting up a pre-commercial 5G transmission said, “Sri Lanka has consistently led the South Asia region in technology introduction.

The TRCSL is very proud to note the achievements of the mobile sector in delivering broadband services to Sri Lankan consumers on a very affordable basis – this along with wider availability has driven broadband penetration in Sri Lanka”.

Dialog Axiata Group CEO Supun Weerasinghe said, “Reaching the milestone of enabling a fully functional pre-commercial 5G transmission as well as our investments in making a major part of our expansive island-wide 4G network fully 5G compliant, demonstrate our commitment to deliver to our customers, network capability and digital enablement on par with the most developed markets in the world.

The progressive policies of the TRCSL have enabled Sri Lanka to lead the region in this respect and we greatly appreciate the foresight of the TRCSL to allocate spectrum for pre-commercial transmission of 5G services.

Dialog will build on the learning from the pilot transmission and will work in partnership with the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Digital Infrastructure in leveraging the unique capabilities of 5G technology towards empowering Sri Lanka’s socio-economic transformation, enhancing productivity, efficiency and advancement of the country as a regional technology hub.”

Over a year prior, in August 2017, Dialog Axiata hosted South Asia’s first 5G demonstration in a laboratory environment in collaboration with technology partners Huawei and Ericsson.

Since then Dialog has upgraded over 20 percent of its expansive base station network to ‘5G Ready Status’ by deploying Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology.

Dialog’s Massive MIMO network today transmits speeds in excess of 720 MBps enabling superlative upload and download speeds on the company’s widely available 4G services. The same infrastructure will transmit 5G speeds upon the licensing of commercial 5G services in Sri Lanka.

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