Dutch operator KPN said it has successfully tested 5G Standalone (SA) technology in the country, the telco said in a release.
KPN, which initially introduced 5G in 2020, is currently providing the service via the 700 MHz frequency band.
“With the introduction of 5G Standalone, 5G will become a independent technology for both radio and core,” said Erik Brands, director of mobile networks at KPN. “This means smartphones will only use 5G frequency bands and the core network is fully dedicate to this new 5G standard. This is important because many future functionalities of 5G will be driven from the heart of the network. The arrival of 5G Standalone will bring the next evolution of 5G with higher speeds and improved latency.”
The executive also highlighted that the new architecture will also enable network slicing technology to support a number of 5G use cases.
In the test, which was carried out via a test license of 3.5 GHz spectrum in combination with 5G Standalone architecture, KPN demonstrated a cloud gaming application in the city of Breda, together with technology partner Ericsson.
During the test, all data was exchanged in real time between a player and the gaming platform that runs in a data center. During the test, a download speed of almost 1 Gbps and a latency of only 14 milliseconds were achieved, “considerably better” than with the current 5G Non-Standalone standard, KPN said.
KPN said that the new technology will enable increased network capacity, higher throughput and improved latency for consumers, while it will also enable intelligent transport systems, precision agriculture or applications in logistics and manufacturing, the telco added.
The 3.5 GHz spectrum band is scheduled to become available in the Netherlands at the end of this year. KPN said it expects to gradually introduce 5G SA technology in 2024.
In 2020, Dutch telcos VodafoneZiggo, T-Mobile and KPN had secured spectrum allocations in the first 5G auction held in the Netherlands.
At that time, the country’s three main mobile operators acquired a total of 26 separate licenses, spending €1.23 billion ($1.32 billion) on a variety of spectrum holdings in the 700 MHz, 1,400 MHz and 2.1 GHz bands.
As part of the terms of the auction, the operators had accepted a number of conditions, including covering 98% of each municipality, along with minimum speed requirements for businesses and consumers.
KPN acquired 20 megahertz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band, as well as 15 megahertz in the 1400 MHz band and 40 megahertz in the 2100 MHz band. The carrier paid a total of € 416 million for the spectrum.