Nokia demonstrates live 5G C-band network ahead of US auction

Nokia demonstrates live 5G C-band network ahead of US auction

Technology News |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

An industry first, Nokia has successfully completed a series of Over-the-Air (OTA) 5G NR trials in C-band spectrum, in Dallas, Texas. The drive tests, which achieved stable peak throughput speeds of over 1 Gbps, confirmed that Nokia  is ready for commercial deployment ahead of the U.S. C-band spectrum auction in December.

The C-band, between 3.4 GHz and 4.2 GHz, will be prime spectrum for providing leading-edge 5G services in the U.S., especially when combined with already deployed network infrastructure and spectrum bands via TDD/FDD Carrier Aggregation and other interworking features.

The demonstration was performed using Nokia’s AirScale 5G base station equipment that is an industry-leading, commercial end-to-end 5G system enabling operators globally to capitalize on all their 5G spectrum assets (from 600 MHz to 39 GHz). It offers massive capacity scaling and market-leading latency and connectivity by enabling all air-interface technologies on the same radio access equipment. The setup utilized 100 MHz of spectrum at 3.75 GHz with a 4×4 MIMO and configuration in Non-Standalone (NSA) mode combined with Nokia’s Core network. During drive testing, Nokia monitored network performance and demonstrated that the ‘handovers’ successfully happened between C-band base stations as expected. The connection and performance was stable throughout the entire test, highlighting the robustness of the system and its readiness for commercial implementation.

Nokia’s C-band solution is based on its AirScale 5G RF products. It has a full portfolio of 3.5 GHz offerings, including 64TRX and 32TRX massive MIMO for extreme capacity; 8T8R radios for deployable coverage; a 4T4R micro RRH for street level and venue deployments; and an indoor pico RRH to provide extensive in-building coverage. Nokia is already shipping each of these products in high volumes to leading carriers around the world. The difference between these global systems and the systems needed for the U.S. C-band are the hardware changes needed to match the exact frequency range and country specific RF requirements. These adaptions are low technical risk based on Nokia’s already commercial platforms, including its own ReefShark System on Chip (SoC) technologies.

See also: 5G NR network rollout is now – let’s test!

Nokia is also offering U.S. Carriers the option of deploying C-band with its 5G AirScale Cloud RAN in vRAN2.0 configuration, in which the whole baseband will be in Cloud connected to the radio via an ORAN compliant eCPRI 7.2x interface. 

Nokia recently announced that it has achieved 5G speeds of up to 4.7 Gbps in OTA tests performed on AirScale base station equipment being deployed in major U.S. carriers’ commercial networks. This most recent achievement in C-band is another example of the strong progress Nokia has made in 5G over the past 18 months.

See also: MIMO antennas enhance wireless communication links for modern applications

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, commented: “The mobile industry is dependent on the allocation of new spectrum to increase capacity and deliver enhanced mobile broadband services. This test, in the C-band, is significant because it proves that we have a solution ready-to-go following the completion of the spectrum auctions in the U.S. later this year. We are already working with all major U.S. carriers and look forward to strengthening our relationship with them further by deploying C-band and delivering incredible 5G experiences to business and subscribers across the country.”

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