Asia Pacific operators accounted for four of the six fastest pre-standard 5G lab tests announced to date, according to a report from network testing, monitoring and assurance provider Viavi Solutions.

Australian operator Optus and Singapore-based M1 and StarHub all reached speeds of 35Gb/s, while Australia’s Telstra achieved data rates of 20Gb/s. The fastest rates were registered by UAE-based Etisalat (36Gb/s) in the “5G” tests (see chart, click to enlarge), with Qatar-based Ooredoo second-fastest on 35.46 Gb/s.

All other operators conducting 5G trials reported data transmission speeds of at least 2Gb/s.

Despite the fact development of 5G standards is ongoing, 25 mobile operators announced lab tests of the next generation technology, with nine Asia operators included in that group. Of the 25, 12 reported having progressed to field testing and four announced plans for 5G trials, the report said.

Operators are conducting tests across bandwidths ranging from sub-3GHz to 86GHz. Of the operators which have disclosed their test spectrum, the most commonly trialled wavelength is 28GHz with eight operators using it, followed by 15GHz, which is being used in trials by seven operators.

Five network equipment providers have announced they are involved in 5G trials: Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE.

“The pace of 5G development is already beyond the expectations of many observers,” said Viavi CTO Sameh Yamany. “Now, as the technical delivery of data is starting to coalesce, it is time to think ahead to how future 5G networks can manage the disparate requirements of high data rates, very low latency applications and large-scale IoT services while maintaining quality of service.”

Yamany said this underlines the importance of network slicing whereby multiple cloud-based functions within a virtualised network can be automated and programmed to meet different use cases and requirements.

The company published an infographic summarising the “State of 5G Trials” report.