Partners Elisa, Nokia, and Qualcomm clocked what they said is a 5G record of more than 8 Gbps in combined speeds from two devices on the operator’s commercial network in Finland.
The speed was delivered at Elisa’s flagship store in Helsinki to two form factor test devices that were connected simultaneously via two Nokia AirScale radios. Two 800 MHz blocks of millimeter wave spectrum in the 26 GHz band were used in the test. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System with QTM525 mmWave antenna modules powered the devices, which each hit peak speeds of 4 Gbps from the base station.
Speaking during a virtual streaming event in Finland Tuesday morning, Sami Komulainen, EVP of Production at Elisa, said the operator plans to build up and introduce mmWave 5G service to customers next year in 2021.
Komulainen said the record “means of course speed, but more importantly it is the capacity” when thinking about customers' data usage in homes and offices for remote work and learning, as well as entertainment. “So, we need a lot of capacity to fulfill that need where we have customers nowadays.”
Elisa has 2 million people in its 5G coverage area, according to Komulainen, who added that 5G progress is moving well.
Screenshot of 5G speed test results displayed during the virtual event
In the world of 5G, there is always a play for firsts, and Elisa has been involved from the start. In June 2018, Elisa was one carrier claiming to be the first operator globally to begin commercial use of a 5G network.
As for the speed record Tuesday, at the event Nokia president of Mobile Networks Tomm Uitto said it “proves the capability of 5G in mobile broadband. And I’m really happy and proud about the fact that we’re able to get to this level with our standard commercial product that we’re deploying in the Elisa network.”
Enrico Salvatori, Head of EMEA market at Qualcomm said for its work on the handset end-user side, the test is about showing that full 5G capacity and performance also can be delivered over millimeter wave, not just with sub-6 GHz. “That is reflected in the devices,” not only smartphones, but also PCs and CPE, he noted.
“This record is proving that we’re all marching in the right direction,” Salvatori said Tuesday.
A report released Tuesday, conducted by Analysys Mason, with financial support and input from Qualcomm and Ericsson, found that at the use-case level, the largest economic benefits of 5G in terms of European GDP impact will come from smart factories, agriculture and fixed wireless access (FWA) in suburban and rural areas.
Nokia rival Ericsson also is providing Elisa 5G gear in Finland, including deploying a dual-mode 5G Core to add support for standalone (SA) 5G. Elisa will also introduce Ericsson 5G RAN equipment starting in 2021. In addition to 26 GHz, Elisa is using 3.5 GHz spectrum for 5G.