Nokia, du say VR video streaming demonstration a real-world example of services that will be enabled by 5G

Saleem AlBlooshi, du's EVP of Network Operations, said the VR demonstration is a glimpse into the future

Nokia said UAE-headquartered operator du passed another milestone on its path to 5G after the companies completed a demonstration of 360-degree virtual reality (VR) video streaming at the GITEX 2016 technology conference.

Content shot on Nokia’s Ozo VR camera was streamed to head mounted displays over Nokia’s AirScale Radio Access equipment. Nokia refers to the kit as 5G-ready, and explained that the demonstration is therefore an important step for du’s plan to deploy 5G services in 2020 by demonstrating a real-world use case for the next-generation technology.

The radio network utilised 400 MHz of bandwidth in the 4.5 GHz frequency, and multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) technology to achieve 5G-like data rates, Nokia stated.

Nokia explained that its AirScale technology is configured to deliver ultra-low latency and large network capacity. Such characteristics enable the equipment to provide services including real-time Internet of Things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality. The technology will also enable future services including remote surgery and autonomous vehicles, the vendor stated.

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Such additional services are of particular interest to du. Saleem AlBlooshi, the operator’s executive vice president of Network Development and Operations, cited smart cities as one example, stating that such services will “require high-speed and low latency connectivity to connect Internet of Things applications.”

du and Nokia’s demonstration of VR video streaming on a 5G-capable infrastructure “provides a glimpse into the future of one such application,” that “underscores our commitment to go beyond connectivity and speed and providing end-to-end real use cases for 5G,” he added.

AlBlooshi pointed out that Nokia is also du’s partner in the UAE 5G innovation gate (U5GIG) research programme that aims to see the UAE actively participate in the development of global 5G standards.

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Bernard Najm, vice president and head of the Middle East market unit at Nokia, said the demonstration highlights how the vendor’s AirScale technology “allows operators like du to make the required transformations for future bandwidth-intensive applications, while at the same time utilising their existing radio network investment.”

GITEX is running from Oct. 16 to Oct. 20 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.