Deutsche Telekom and Huawei launched a pre-standard 5G network in central Berlin, a move the companies described as creating Europe’s first 5G connection.

In a joint statement, the companies said the connection used the latest 3GPP specifications to deliver a 2Gb/s connection over a 3.7GHz spectrum link. It will enable wide area applications and improve indoor coverage.

The network uses a pre-5G technology based on standards being developed for non-standalone New Radio. The network uses LTE as a base while 5G NR technology provides improved data rates and reduces latency.

Deutsche Telkom CTO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn (pictured) said: “With this real-world achievement, Deutsche Telekom is making its first important step towards a 5G network launch. When the standard is defined, we will trial it in 2018 to prepare the ground for a wider deployment of commercial sites and the offering of devices for the mass market as they become available.”

The deployment is one of a number of networks being rolled-out around the world based on pre-standardised 5G technology.

Results from many of these trials or limited area networks are helping operators develop their 5G strategies and technology ahead of anticipated commercial launch in 2020.