Deutsche Telekom said it is the first operator in Europe to launch a “5G connection in a real world setting”, after debuting next-generation mobile antennas in Berlin.

In a statement, Deutsche Telekom said four radio cells in its network are demonstrating 5G, with the updated antennas providing speeds of more than 2Gb/s to a single customer device through a 5G New Radio connection, along with latency of 3-milliseconds on commercial sites in Berlin’s Schoneberg district.

The company said high throughput and very short network reaction times “are key capabilities of 5G, which is set to drive forward the development of exciting new applications”.

China-based vendor Huawei supplied the antennas, and the test follows on from a pre-standard 5G trial conducted by the companies in early September.

Claudia Nemat, Deutsche Telekom board member for technology and innovation, said demonstrating 5G in the middle of Berlin rather than a lab was “a decisive development step on the way to the global launch of 5G, which is planned for 2020”.

“Industry in particular will benefit from 5G as a powerful enabler for a wide range of applications. We are ready for 5G,” she said.

Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, Deutsche Telekom CTO said enabling 5G New Radio is a major step towards enabling “5G for everybody”.

“As soon as the standard is defined and is available, we will proceed in 2018 to lay the foundation for large scale build out,” he added.

Despite stepping up 5G trials in 2017, European operators are expected to fall behind those in South Korea, Japan, and the US in being first to launch 5G.

The two Asian countries are touting launches in 2018, with US likely to follow swiftly after. European operators, largely, are targeting 2020.