Nokia announces successful 5GTF connection test; aims to launch ‘4.9G’ tech by end-2017

14 Feb 2017

Finnish vendor Nokia has carried out what it claims is the world’s first connection based on the 5GTF ‘pre-standard’. Calling the development ‘a further milestone in [its] momentum to make 5G a commercial reality’, the company said that the technology test had actually taken place in a laboratory environment in Oulu in December last year, and used the 5GTF (Verizon 5G Technology Forum) draft specification. It was reportedly made possible by Nokia’s commercially available 5G-ready AirScale radio access BTS with system module and radio unit running early 5G software, using a 100MHz block in the 28GHz band, along with the vendor’s AirFrame data centre platform running on Intel architecture, together with the Intel 5G mobile trial platform as an end-user device.

In separate but related news, Nokia has confirmed that it aims to introduce its ‘4.9G’ technologies by the end of 2017, with the vendor claiming that a ‘4.9G massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna’ will increase cell capacity by up to five times, while a new ‘4.5G Pro AirScale Micro Remote Radio Head (RRH)’ will allow operators to take advantage of unlicensed spectrum to enable Gigabit speeds. According to a press release, Nokia intends to partner with US service provider Sprint to demonstrate the MIMO Adaptive Antenna technology at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month, where it will use 3G Beamforming software to deliver throughput gains ‘of up to eight-fold uplink and five-fold downlink’; the demo will leverage commercially-available devices operating on TD-LTE band 41.

Finland, Nokia Networks (formerly NSN), Sprint Corporation (became part of T-Mobile US)