Nokia and Qualcomm are one step closer to launching a 5G network after successfully completing key foundation tests of 5G New Radio (NR) specifications between network infrastructure and mobile devices.
The companies completed tests in both the 3.5Ghz and 28Ghz spectrum that were compliant with 3GPP's recently released standards for 5G networks using Nokia's commercial available AirScale base station and device prototypes from Qualcomm.
The tests were carried out at Nokia's 5G center of excellence in Oulu, Finland in an effort to provide the basis for 5G NR field trials with mobile operators in 2018.
So far BT/EE, Deutsche Telecom, KT, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Elisa, Optus, Telia and Vodafone Group have already committed to working together to trialing 5G NR technology. All of these trials will be based around Nokia and Qualcomm's successful interoperability tests to support a wide variety of 5G services and deployment scenarios.
The two companies plan on working closely to help drive the industry, with the intention of a widescale 5G deployment in 2019 that will be based on 3GPP standard-compliant 5G infrastructure and devics. Commercial 5G networks are scheduled to launch in the US, China, Japan, Korea and Europe next year.
Nokia's president of mobile networks highlighted the importance of its 5G tests with Qualcomm, saying:
“These tests by Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies 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.”
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