Dutch telco KPN reports this morning that it has successfully tested the 5G Standalone (5G SA) technology standard in its network, promising higher speeds, improved latency and new features such as network slicing once the Netherlands completes the pending 3.5GHz frequency auction process. Using a localised test licence in the 3.5GHz band KPN demonstrated a cloud gaming application in Breda together with technology partner Ericsson. During the test, a download speed of almost 1Gbps and a latency of 14ms were achieved.

KPN has offered 5G Non Standalone (NSA) services since 2020, with coverage today available throughout the country, but the core network does not yet support the latest 5G standards, whilst it is hoped that commercial 3.5GHz licences will be available by the end of this year, with KPN planning to introduce 5G SA ‘gradually’ in 2024.

Erik Brands, Director of Mobile Networks at KPN, commented: ‘With the introduction of 5G SA, 5G will become an independent technology for both radio and core. This means smartphones will only use 5G frequency bands and the core network is fully dedicated 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 SA will bring the next evolution of 5G with higher speeds and improved latency. In addition, it enables network slicing with which part of the network (a ‘slice’) can be optimised for a particular use case.’

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