Kazakhstan’s KaR-Tel has launched a large-scale 5G network trial in the city of Shymkent.
Branded as Beeline, the operator is a joint venture of Veon. The end-to-end trial is integrated into the operator’s live mobile network, making it one of the largest 5G trials to date in Central Asia. The network architecture is aligned with the latest 5G release (NSA 3X) 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. The trial is being led by KaR-Tel LLC in partnership with Nokia.
Yogesh Malik, VEON’s Chief Technology Officer, commented: “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.”
Mikko Lavanti, Head of Central East & Central Asia at Nokia, said: “This large-scale trial is an important step towards the broad deployment of 5G technology in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Real-life testing is crucial for developing a 5G ecosystem to the benefit of consumers, industry and the economy.”
During 2019, KaR-Tel LLC has invested in network modernisation and the expansion of coverage in order to have 5G-ready infrastructure in Kazakhstan, ensuring the company can continue to provide its customers with the latest generation of connectivity services.