Two state-owned operators in Uzbekistan have announced that they will begin trialling 5G technology.
Ucell and Uzmobile are both readying tests in response to the Ministry of Information Technologies & Communications (MITC) calling on operators and vendors to make formal proposals for 5G deployment.
Earlier this month, Ucell received a 5G trial permit and is testing the technology at its Tashkent offices. Using network equipment from Huawei, the operator has reached peak data speeds of 1.376Gbps (downlink). It aims to launch a 5G network at the Tashkent International Business Centre this year, before expanding coverage.
Uzmobile – a unit of Uzbektelecom – is also using Huawei equipment for its trials, and has placed its first 5G base stations “into operation for pre-trial testing” on “frequencies up to 6GHz”. The testing will use non-standalone network infrastructure built on top of its 4G network, and will involve “multiple non-hierarchical (disproportionate) access and Massive MIMO” technologies.
The test results will inform the operator’s procurement and deployment plan, which is expected to take ‘more than one and a half years’. According to one of its engineers, the operator has achieved data connection speeds of 1.455Gbps (downlink)/114Mbps (uplink) on its Tashkent network.