News | May 9, 2022

Qualcomm, Three Austria And ZTE Achieve Europe's First 5G Standalone Milestone On 700MHz With 1400MHz Aggregation

5G Standalone Capabilities, Powered by Snapdragon X65 Modem-RF System and Deployed by Three Austria and ZTE, Will Allow for Next-Generation High 5G Speed in Both Suburban and Rural Areas Across Europe

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Three Austria and ZTE have successfully executed a 5G network demonstration using a standalone (SA) coverage layer based on 700MHz (n28) and the world’s first supplemental downlink (SDL) band 1400MHz (n75), significantly boosting rural throughput and the capacity of standalone mode NR.

Today, 5G commercial services in Europe are primarily operating in the 3500MHz (n78) TDD band using the non-standalone (NSA) mode of the 5G standard to address growing performance and capacity demand in more populated dense and urban areas. Typically, TDD n78 bands have larger operating bandwidths (between 40MHz – 100MHz depending on carriers’ licensed spectrum capabilities) providing greater speeds and network capacity. The next step in 5G evolution is to move towards standalone mode using the new 5G core architecture which will power enhanced consumer experiences - with faster peak speeds, more available connections, lower latency, and higher throughput - and allow for industry growth in areas such as Industrial IoT and cloud services.

At present, cities have a higher number of frequencies and support higher capacity thanks to a greater number of network masts and more extensive use of 3500GHz (n78) frequency. As 5G rollouts expand, legacy technology FDD bands of 3G and 4G/ LTE like 800MHz (n28), 2100MHz (n1), 1800MHz (n3), and 2600MHz (n7) with bandwidths varying from 5MHz-20MHz are being re-farmed into 5G bands to improve the 5G footprint in rural areas.

Qualcomm Technologies, Three Austria and ZTE have come together to demonstrate 5G SA operating in the 700MHz (n28) band along with the world’s first supplemental downlink band 1400MHz (n75) with 30MHz bandwidth. This important milestone helps in accelerating 5G expansion in suburban and rural areas with enhanced downlink speeds and coverage for customers. The commercial deployment model has significant potential for operators to improve 5G coverage with 5G SA deployments across the remainder of Europe.

Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president, Qualcomm Europe, Inc. and president, Qualcomm Europe/MEA, said, “We’re proud to be a key contributor to this demonstration as it is a crucial step in the evolution of 5G. As we move towards 5G standalone, this is a significant stride forward in the next stage of 5G commercialisation and more widespread 5G adoption. This milestone will take the ecosystem further down the 5G path, unlocking more of the exciting benefits of 5G to people and industries across Europe, and making 5G an even more compelling proposition to mobile network operators (MNOs) in rural areas.”

Christian Woschitz, president, ZTE Central and Eastern Europe, said, “We are very excited, as the test of 700 MHz and SDL band at 1400 MHz is a bright promise to guarantee the smooth evolution, boost the eco-system and promote user experience of 5G network. The practice brings new business opportunity for both operators and vendors. It also serves as a convincing demonstration of ZTE's deep cooperation with our collaborator Qualcomm Technologies, and our ever-lasting will of growing together with Three Austria.”

Matthias Baldermann, chief technology officer, Three Austria, said, “In 2020 we acquired 5G spectrum in several frequency bands. Especially the new SDL band at 1400 MHz has the potential to improve the downlink experience substantially. The first implementation and successful testing of this band worldwide together with Qualcomm Technologies and ZTE is a major step towards commercialization of the full 5G potential and bringing high quality broadband coverage also to remote rural areas.”

About Qualcomm
Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G. When we connected the phone to the internet, the mobile revolution was born. Today, our foundational technologies enable the mobile ecosystem and are found in every 3G, 4G, and 5G smartphone. We bring the benefits of mobile to new industries, including automotive, the internet of things, and computing, and are leading the way to a world where everything and everyone can communicate and interact seamlessly.

Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of our engineering, research, and development functions, and substantially all of our products and services businesses, including our QCT semiconductor business.

About Three Austria
Hutchison Drei Austria GmbH is a 100% subsidiary of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (Hong Kong) and part of the 3Group Europe’s division “3Scandinavia & Austria”. By the end of December 2021, Drei achieved a total revenue of 866 million euros. As a leading Austrian telecommunication provider the company offers mobile communication, internet, fixed line, TV and business solutions from a single source. Next to the biggest network of branded stores by an Austrian telecommunications provider and an encompassing customer service for residential and business customers, Drei provides the densest 4G network with a 98% coverage in population. After the launch of Austria’s first, real, comprehensive 5G network in Linz, Drei started Austria’s first 5G Standalone trial in June 2021. In February 2022, the company received the Ookla Speedtest AwardTM for the country’s fastest 5G network for the second time in a row. For more information, visit

About ZTE
ZTE Corporation, a major international provider of advanced telecommunications equipment, mobile devices and enterprise technology solutions for consumers, operators, businesses and public sector customers.

ZTE Corporation is a global leader in telecommunications and information technology. Founded in 1985, the company has been committed to providing innovative technologies and integrated solutions for global operators, government and enterprise, and consumers from over 160 countries across the globe. Serving over 1/4 of the global population, the company is dedicated to enabling connectivity and trust everywhere for a better future.

Source: Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.