Initial speed tests in Kazakhstan trial show a downlink speed of 1.0GB per second
Operating under the Beeline brand, VEON’s joint venture company in Kazakhstan, KaR-Tel, has launched a large-scale 5G network trial in Shymkent, Kazakhstan. The trial, conducted in partnership with Nokia, is integrated into Beeline’s live mobile network, which makes it one of the largest 5G trials to date in central Asia.
Beeline’s network architecture allows 5G devices to aggregate LTE and 5G radio channels to achieve higher download speeds. And because the trial’s 5G coverage spreads over thirteen square kilometers, a number of fixed wireless and mobile use cases can be tested in real-life conditions.
According to the announcement, some of those use cases include robotics for industry applications and virtual reality experiences such as gaming and 360-degree TV streaming. Using the 3.7 GHz band, initial speed tests show a downlink speed of 1.0 GB per second.
VEON hopes the trial will provide valuable insights into the “most efficient applications of 5G.”
Yogesh Malik, VEON’s chief technology officer, commented further, “Our 5G trial in Kazakhstan is a further sign that VEON is embracing a 5G future that provides customers with cutting-edge technology to empower their personal or business ambitions.”
On the Nokia side of things, Mikko Lavanti, head of Central East & Central Asia at Nokia, emphasized how critical it is to perform real-life testing when developing a 5G ecosystem.
“This large-scale trial with our long-standing partner KaR-Tel LLC 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,” Lavanti said. “Nokia is enabling this trial with our end-to-end 5G technology, as well as sharing our experience of more than 100 technical 5G engagements around the world.”
Throughout this past year, KaR-Tel has invested in network modernization and the expansion of coverage in order to have 5G-ready infrastructure in Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan is shaping up to be the first country in the Caspian region to offer 5G services. This past June, the Kazakh government made it clear that next-generation connectivity is a priority, announcing plans to build 5G infrastructure in three of the largest cities in Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana), Almaty and Shymkent.
And further, KaR-Tel is not the only telecom preparing for the 5G revolution. Another big player in Kazakh telecommunications, Kazakhtelecom, worked with Ericsson in June to test 28 GHz 5G in the city of Almaty. The tests achieved data speeds of up to 15 Gbps using a prototype 28 GHz mobile device.