Nokia, Sonera wrap up 5G trial in Helsinki using 4.5 GHz spectrum


If you’ve been wondering how fixed and mobile solutions are going to look in 5G, Nokia might have some suggestions. The company just wrapped up a demo with Sonera, the Finnish arm of Nordic operator Telia, where they brought together fixed and mobile technologies to showcase ultra-high speed networks.

"The world is going mobile and mobile is going fixed,” Tommi Uitto, senior vice president for global product sales at Nokia Mobile Networks, said in a press release.At Nokia, we constantly strive to innovate in mobile and fixed technologies, helping our customers migrate and update their networks and prepare for the future so they can cater to the needs of bandwidth-hungry subscribers. 5G is just around the corner, and we're making it happen."

The trial, held at Sonera’s headquarters in Helsinki in August, used the 4.5 GHz frequency and the commercially available Nokia AirScale base station with a core network solution. The high-speed, low-latency 5G network was used to deliver, among other things, high resolution video footage shot using OZO, Nokia's virtual reality camera for professionals. This aspect of the trial reached data throughput speeds of over 4.5 Gbps.

For the fixed part, Sonera also tested Nokia's XG-FAST solution, the fixed broadband technology developed by Nokia Bell Labs that allows existing copper cables to deliver high-speed fixed broadband, saving service providers from having to install new cabling. XG-FAST technology can reach transmission speeds of up to 10 Gbps in a traditional copper cable and is intended for short copper loops. Using the XG-FAST technology makes sense when a high-speed connection is required over a large area quickly and cost-effectively, using existing copper cables, according to Nokia.

Sonera and Nokia also recently tested small cell technology to boost network capacity at the Flow Festival, a music festival held in Helsinki last month. The two signed a pact in July aimed at accelerating Sonera's network evolution to 5G. The goal of the cooperation is to keep Sonera at the forefront of both present and future network technologies.

At Mobile World Congress 2015, Nokia boasted that it was the first to run 5G on a commercially available base station. Its AirScale 5G-ready radio access technology was designed to demonstrate that real equipment is available versus just being a bunch of marketing hype. 

Interestingly, North America actually represents the biggest region for Nokia. Last year, sales in Nokia’s Networks business grew 8 percent year-over-year, but jumped an astounding 95 percent in North America. Every other geographic region either lost sales or grew by a miniscule margin on a year-over-year basis. Nokia said its booming business in North America was "primarily due to LTE network deployments at major customers."

For more:
- see this press release

Related articles:
Nokia CEO on predicting the future: Use data, customer feedback and instinct
Amid 5G hubbub, Nokia explains its 4.5G Pro moniker
Nokia CEO: Very little 'angst and in-fighting' in Alcatel-Lucent merger process