Nokia claims bragging rights as ‘first to run 5G on a commercially available base station’
Nokia is showcasing how its commercially available AirScale radio access can support 5G technologies. The idea is to give operators the confidence that their hardware investments today will meet future demands.
This, says Nokia, is the first time 5G radio access has been demonstrated on commercial hardware. Operators will be able to launch 5G earlier and at lower cost, and migrate their existing LTE infrastructure to early 5G services in 2017, with full 5G commercial services expected in 2020.
It should be noted, says Jeremy Cowan, that full 5G standards are still a work in progress for various standards bodies but pioneers like Nokia are keen to become settlers in the 5G landgrab running up to 2020 when full commercial launches are expected to begin.
Nokia says, that such early testing ahead of full 5G standards will help ensure that subscribers get superior and consistent performance of 5G from day one. The Finland-based vendor is showing how operators can test 5G use cases in their networks using all spectrum bands, including sub-6 GHz for wide area coverage and early market entry, with cmWave and mmWave providing very high communications capacity.
Nokia is demonstrating use cases such as interactive Virtual Reality on its “commercial, 5G-ready AirScale radio access technology”. Its 5G access system covers a broad range of spectrum allocations that are able to deliver more than 20Gbps, in order to unlock the potential of new frequencies for multi-Gbps wireless access.
At Mobile World Congress 2016 Nokia is showing:
- Pre-standard 5G radio technology on Nokia AirScale Base Station and AirScale Cloud Base Station Server running on Nokia AirFrame IT hardware*. The system uses 8×8 MIMO and an optimised frame structure that cuts latency below 1 millisecond. The ultra-low latency and multi-Gbps throughput lets users collaborate in real-time regardless of location in a multi-user, virtual reality demonstration. To read more about Airscale, please click here.
- A high-sensitivity receiver for mmWave opens up the use of 64QAM with 2×2 MIMO, thereby enabling multi-Gbps speed. As previously shown, the systems also support advanced concepts such as beam steering to precisely track end-user location and demand. Although mmWave are expected to be standardised in 3GPP by 2019, Nokia’s pre-standard system provides hands-on experience of how to build the final commercial solution.
- Multi-connectivity concept to enable devices to connect simultaneously to LTE and 5G radio for smooth evolution as 5G is deployed on top of LTE.
- Nokia Services will ensure flawless hybrid network performance with accurate 3D planning of small cells and Predictive Services.
Hossein Moiin, CTO of Nokia Mobile Networks, said: “This is the industry’s first demonstration of how 5G will work in practice, going beyond previous experimental systems. We are showing 5G live on our commercial AirScale radio access product – it’s a major advance because it means that 5G is no longer a distant vision. Now operators can invest with confidence in network equipment that will support both existing and 5G technologies when they are standardised.”
Nokia Bell Labs set a record with demonstrations showing peak data speeds of over 30 Gbps to an end user, and over 1 million connections simultaneously served by a single cell. Nokia is also showcasing the capabilities of 5G-enabled autonomous cars, industrial networking, interactive virtual reality and other applications on Nokia’s 5G multi-service architecture.
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