Although there are a lot of unknowns at this point about what will be announced at Mobile World Congress Americas in San Francisco in September, it’s a pretty good bet that vendors will be demonstrating their 5G wares, including Nokia.
Nokia last week received the green light (PDF) from the FCC to demonstrate prototype 5G equipment at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from September 7-16. The show runs September 12-14, but Nokia wanted a little extra time for setup and breakdown of the equipment.
Specifically, the equipment, which includes a Flexizone base station and mobile unit, will operate at 27.5-28.35 GHz.
Nokia is no stranger to the 28 GHz band, having used it to conduct multiple tests with operators in the U.S. and abroad. In May, Nokia and Japan’s KDDI conducted a trial in Tokyo simulating future 5G network demands using 28 GHz Nokia radio technology. The trial, conducted between the KDDI Research Building and an apartment about 100 meters away, achieved speeds in excess of 1 Gbps—not bad considering Tokyo is said to be the most densely populated metropolitan area in the world.
In the U.S., the 28-31 GHz band, generally referred to as LMDS spectrum, is also a licensed millimeter-wave spectrum band. According to Allnet Insights & Analytics, the band is split among the FCC, AT&T, Verizon and others, with Verizon controlling a majority of the licenses in the band.
Back in February, Nokia announced its 5G First portfolio at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. The radio access network components of 5G First include Nokia massive MIMO Adaptive Antennas for 3.5 GHz, 4.5 GHz, 28 GHz and 39 GHz frequency bands, the AirScale System Module, AirScale cloud RAN technology and software.
Nokia said at the time that it had upgraded its AirScale and AirFrame platforms to 5G based on specifications developed by the KT Special Interest Group and Verizon 5G Technology Forum, and the platforms will be adapted to 3GPP as standards develop.
Last month, Nokia was granted FCC permission to add two locations to tests for which it already had been approved in the 68-76 GHz range. Nokia facilities in Naperville, Illinois, and Holmdel, New Jersey, were added to previous locations, including Verizon facilities in Euless, Texas, and Basking Ridge, New Jersey, as well as Nokia and Bell Labs facilities in other cities. That authorization is in effect until November 1, 2018.