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Nokia and Qualcomm Complete Key Foundation Tests of 5G Radio PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 February 2018 07:45

Nokia and Qualcomm have successfully completed interoperability testing in the 3.5Ghz and 28Ghz spectrum compliant with the global 3GPP 5G NR Release 15 standard – which was formally confirmed in December – and using the commercially available Nokia AirScale base station and device prototypes from Qualcomm Technologies.

To support the rapidly expanding connectivity needs for the next decade and beyond, 5G is envisioned to be a unifying connectivity fabric that will connect virtually everything around us — from enabling enhanced mobile broadband services and mission-critical communications to connecting the massive Internet of Things — as well as support use cases not completely known today. That is why 5G as the platform for future innovations is being designed with new levels of flexibility and scalability that will fuel mobile inventions beyond the next decade. But enabling all envisioned services will take time — LTE is already bringing the foundation to connect the massive number of IoT devices — so the initial focus is addressing today’s most urgent needs. Unlike most 5G visionary essays, this paper will focus on the immediate 2019 timeframe, when 5G New Radio (NR) deployments will begin based on the 3GPP Release 15 standard.

The initial 5G commercial deployments will be driven by enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) services primarily connecting consumer smartphones. The near-term demand among consumers is real — in a global survey commissioned for this paper, involving nearly 6,000 consumers, we found that close to 50% of respondents are likely to be early 5G adopters. Furthermore, 5G is the top feature that consumers are willing to pay more for with their next mobile device.

5G NR is being designed to deliver significantly more network capacity, higher user throughput, more uniform experience, lower latency, better reliability, and increased network flexibility — thanks to key 5G inventions such as the flexible framework, self-contained TDD subframe, massive MIMO, mobilizing millimeter wave (mmWave), network slicing, and more.

Focusing on the commercialization of 5G technology, with New Radio as its foundation, Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies testing at Nokia’s 5G center of excellence in Oulu, Finland, will provide the basis for 5G NR field trials with operators in 2018. Nokia, Qualcomm and operators* including BT/EE, Deutsche Telekom, Elisa, KT, LGU+, NTT DOCOMO, Optus, SKT, Telia and Vodafone Group are already committed to working together in verifying and trialing 5G NR technology. This will be based on the successful interoperability tests of the flexible 5G NR interface from Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies which will support a wide array of 5G services and various deployment scenarios. 

In line with Qualcomm and Nokia’s announcement in September 2017 to collaborate on 5G NR and with the success of these recent tests, Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies continue working closely in driving the industry, leading to widescale 5G deployments in 2019 based on 3GPP standard-compliant 5G infrastructure and devices. This will enable timely commercial network launches in 2019, in particular in the United States, China, Japan, Korea and Europe. 

Marc Rouanne, President of Mobile Networks, Nokia noted, “These tests by Nokia and Qualcomm are important to the progress of 5G. Importantly, they demonstrate how we have quickly applied the 3GPP Release 15 specifications that were set in December, and using our AirScale base station – which has been shipped to more than 100 customers – together with a prototype Qualcomm Technologies UE. Now, we can look forward to commencing standards-based, over-the-air 5G NR trials with operators.”

Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm Incorporated, added, “The successful completion of an end-to-end interoperable connection based on the global 5G NR standard is a significant step on the path to launching 5G NR commercial networks and devices starting in 2019. We look forward to further collaboration on standard-compliant field trials with Nokia and global operators on the path to commercialization.”