Nokia, U.S. Cellular achieve 5 Gbps speeds in 5G tests at 28 GHz

Chicago scene

Clearly, it’s not just the world’s biggest operators that are testing 5G. Nokia and U.S. Cellular announced they were able to see speeds of 5 Gbps and ultra-low latency under 2 milliseconds (ms) over a 5G wireless link in tests they conducted in the 28 GHz band at a U.S. Cellular facility.

The companies used Nokia’s commercially available 5G-ready AirScale radio platform in the tests that were designed to put the gear through its paces in both indoor and outdoor environments. The tests included the streaming of six simultaneous 4K ultra high-definition videos. 

For the outdoor testing, which the companies conducted at U.S. Cellular's technology center in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois, the team set up a point-to-point, clear line of sight scenario between a base station and user equipment. To test the impact of a real world environment, the team introduced obstacles such as dry wall, windows and metal panels, and repeated testing by moving the base station and user equipment behind trees and foliage.

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The companies did the indoor testing in U.S. Cellular's lab. In both environments, the tests delivered speeds of 5 Gbps and ultra-low latency under 2 milliseconds (ms) over a 5G wireless link.

"We're excited with this successful 5G testing with Nokia conducted at 28 GHz and have seen very promising results, including 5 Gbps speed, ultra-low latency under 2 ms and multiple 4k video streams,” Michael S. Irizarry, EVP and chief technology officer for U.S. Cellular, said in a press release. “We strive to provide our customers in the mid-sized and rural markets we serve with the latest technology that can enhance their lives or businesses. And we will continue to deliver a fast, high-quality network that works whenever and wherever our customers need it."

During a panel at the CTIA Super Mobility 2016 trade show in September, Irizarry said the operator’s first 5G test was about to kick off in the 28 GHz band, but he did not reveal the vendor at that time. The operator also plans to conduct tests in the 15 GHz band, likely with Ericsson, which applied with the FCC for permission to conduct 5G trials with U.S. Cellular next month.

Nokia received permission (PDF) in June from the FCC to conduct tests at U.S. Cellular’s campus in Schaumburg and other markets around the country, including at Verizon buildings in New Jersey and Texas, as well as at several Nokia facilities. Nokia and U.S. Cellular said they plan further network testing and collaboration toward the development of 5G standards.

For more:
- see the press release

Related articles:
Ericsson wants to revise STA for US Cellular 5G trials
U.S. Cellular, T-Mobile CTOs detail ongoing tests of 5G technology
Nokia wants to demonstrate 5G prototype gear at C Spire's headquarters in July
U.S. Cellular CTO expects 5G will require new OFDM-based air interface

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