Train passengers in 1Gbps LTE virtual reality trial

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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China Unicom tests virtual reality with Ericsson LTE broadcast system at up to 979Mbps

Chinese train travellers have experienced virtual reality using a gigabit LTE network operated by China Unicom.

The company – working with Ericsson – treated passengers on a high-speed train in Hainan using LTE broadcast at up to 979Mbps.

Hao Liqian, general manager of the Hainan branch of China Unicom, said: “This remarkable achievement will fulfil our strategy to offer the most advanced services to individuals and enterprises on the China Unicom network. Our launch ceremony today is important, innovative and fun, since we’re using virtual reality on a high-speed train over a high-speed network to prove the worthiness of this launch.”

The demonstration took place earlier today, said Ericsson. Chris Houghton, head of the vendor’s North East Asia market area, said: “We’re literally putting the network into the hands of the subscribers on day one. People will be able to immerse themselves in their video experience and not just understand, but feel, the difference with a gigabit LTE network while they are moving at very fast speeds. It’s the perfect combination of thrilling speeds – physically and virtually.”

It is the first commercial deployment in China of LTE broadcast – a variant of 4G technology that is being investigated for video broadcasting. Ericsson noted that, as China Unicom’s strategic partner, it is the exclusive provider of the LTE broadcast solution to the company.

Ericsson has supported China Unicom in setting up a 1Gbps network in Guangdong, Hainan, Shandong and Beijing with peak speeds of up to 979Mbps. There are more 1Gbps trials in Sichuan, Hubei, Shanxi, Jilin and Jiangsu province.