VHA and Nokia conducting field test of 700MHz-based 5G

4 May 2020

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) and Finnish vendor Nokia have announced that they are complementing the former’s 3.5GHz 5G rollout with what they claim is ‘the first deployment of low-band NR700MHz spectrum in a field test environment in a 5G network in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region’. In a press release, Nokia claimed that, once live, the use of 700MHz spectrum will enhance VHA’s 5G network coverage and improve the indoor coverage experience.

It was noted that the solution which has been deployed utilises Nokia’s AirScale product range and is being tested on some of VHA’s 5G sites in and around Parramatta in Western Sydney. It was also confirmed that 700MHz spectrum for 5G connectivity will initially be rolled out to ‘selected areas’ as part of VHA’s 5G rollout. Nokia Global Services will reportedly play a ‘crucial’ role in the network development, providing project planning, installation, and network optimisation services.

Commenting, VHA’s chief executive Inaki Berroeta said: ‘We are proud to be showcasing this innovative use of the lowest band spectrum available in Australia with the first live test deployment of 5G on low-band 700MHz spectrum in our region. Our partnership with Nokia has enabled us to deliver an innovative solution with our customers’ experience front of mind. Incorporating 700MHz spectrum will complement our existing 5G network plans and help deliver the benefits of 5G’s speed, capacity and coverage.’