MTN hits 1.6Gbps on 5G inside a drifting car

MTN held a 5G demonstration at the Gerotek test track where it had a driver wear a virtual reality headset to control a large vehicle drifting around on a skidpan at high speed.

The windows of the vehicle were blacked out, making it impossible for the driver to see without the use of the headset, which displayed video streamed directly from the car-mounted cameras on the outside of the vehicle.

Video was streamed at a resolution of 4K (3,840 x 2,160) with a latency of below 5ms while the car was in motion.

Due to the low latency and visual fidelity of the virtual reality experience, the driver was able to drift the car around the test track without encountering any problems with the live video stream.

Ericsson and MTN were demonstrating the low-latency and high-speed capabilities of forthcoming 5G technology. The kind of real-time visuals demonstrated on the track could be translated to surgery and other latency-sensitive applications, MTN said.

The company added that this trial is the first automotive use case demonstrating 5G mobility in Africa.

Spectrum and mobility

For the demonstration, MTN re-purposed 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 28GHz band, which it already had a license to. This spectrum is usually meant for point-to-point microwave links.

“It’s actually impressive that we got mobility working on it,” MTN told MyBroadband.

By mobility, MTN is referring to the fact that it had four separate radios installed on cherry-pickers on the outside of the track.

As the car drifted around, the connection to the VR headset would seamlessly hand over from one tower to the next.

MTN emphasised that the radios pictured below are integrated antenna-radios, and not just the antennas.

Images from the event are embedded below.

Radio sites installed on cherry-pickers

MTN 5G IoT demo

Integrated radio and antenna unit

MTN 5G IoT demo radio antenna

Cameras and connectivity on the car

MTN 5G IoT demo 20180621_122209

5G basestation for the demo

MTN 5G IoT demo 20180621_133111

Live video feed controllers

MTN 5G IoT demo 20180621_133100

Blacked-out windows

MTN 5G IoT demo 20180621_130609

Vehicle on the skidpan

MTN 5G IoT demo 20180621_122341

Technicians getting the vehicle ready

MTN 5G IoT demo 20180621_122251

Close-up of the camera and receiver on roof

MTN 5G IoT demo 20180621_122237

Ping to the car from the base station

MTN 5G IoT demo 20180621_133128

Now read: MTN boosts LTE coverage and download speeds

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MTN hits 1.6Gbps on 5G inside a drifting car