China Mobile Shanghai and Huawei launched a 5G network in Shanghai’s Hongqiao railway station, making it the first railway station to have a 5G digital indoor system (DIS). The deployment aims to achieve deep indoor 5G coverage within the whole station by the end of 2019 providing easy access to fast 5G network services for all passengers.
“The 5G digital indoor system will deliver a new travel experience. Passengers will feel they are getting more out of their journey. The railway station will show how 5G applications can improve the user experience and offer real benefits to the public. It will help speed up digital transformation for all sectors across the digital economy,” said Zhang Jianming, Vice Chairman of Shanghai’s Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology.
At the launch event, China Mobile Shanghai and Huawei demonstrated the 1.2Gbps peak rate enabled by the 5G DIS. This will mean that after logging on to a network supported by the system, passengers will be able to download a 2GB high-definition film in less than 20 seconds. They will be able to enjoy a seamless entertainment experience as they wait, board, and ride their train. And 5G will reshape people’s lives by creating interactive services such as robot navigation and takeaway delivery.
With the application of the 5G digital indoor system in more diverse scenarios, the 5G railway stations of the future will meet passenger demand for high-speed connectivity and mobile payments anytime, anywhere. They will also support services including 4K HD video calling and multi-way ultra-HD video uploading. These new services will create a better travel experience for passengers.
“5G will also provide a big boost to cloud services. The railway stations of the future may be more intelligent than we can possibly imagine,” Peter Zhou, CMO of Huawei’s Wireless Solution said.
Shanghai Hongqiao railway station is one of Asia’s biggest traffic hubs in terms of passenger throughput, and a showcase for China’s railway system. It handles over 60 million passengers every year, with over 330,000 people passing through each day during peak seasons.
5G offers high bandwidth, low latency, and massive connections. However, it uses high frequencies, which means network signals will lose a lot when penetrating buildings. This makes it difficult to provide full 5G coverage in any indoor environment. A huge building like Hongqiao railway station, with a large number of passengers generating vast data flows, increases the challenge.
The railway station’s 5G network is seen as a key milestone in Shanghai’s commercial 5G deployment laying a solid foundation for Shanghai as a Dual-Gigaband city, with Gigabit network speeds on both mobile and fixed networks.