Verizon and Nokia fete 5G milestone with outdoor data sessions, 4CC

Verizon sign from MWCA

Verizon and Nokia are celebrating a major milestone on the road to commercial 5G deployment with what they’re describing as two industry firsts.

First, they successfully completed a series of data sessions over the 3GPP New Radio (NR) 5G standard outdoors rather than in a lab, like they’ve done before. Second, they used multicarrier aggregation to boost the signals into the gigabit range.  

The tests were conducted at Verizon’s Basking Ridge, New Jersey, facilities late last week and early this week, according to Verizon spokesman John O’Malley. The tests were set up so employees could come in and see the technology in action, he said via email. The distance was based on the physical parameters of Verizon’s main building and the front of the parking garage, where the receiving equipment was set up.  

A YouTube video shows how Nokia and Verizon worked together to transmit multiple live interactive virtual reality sessions and simultaneous 4K streaming video with latencies of 1.5 milliseconds, which, they point out, is 150 times faster than the blink of an eye. They used Verizon’s 28 GHz licensed spectrum, so there was no need for any special spectrum authorization from the FCC.

Specifically, they used 4CC (component carrier aggregation) to achieve throughput speeds up to 1.8 Gbps. Combining the millimeter wave spectrum assets and the ability to transmit on multiple carriers in an outdoor setting meant they were better able to mirror how 5G ultimately will be deployed and used by consumers and businesses, according to Verizon.  

Verizon declined to comment on whether it would do similar tests with vendors Ericsson and/or Samsung. “No additional tests are planned at this time,” O’Malley said.

RELATED: Verizon names Los Angeles as 5G city

Verizon has said it will roll out a 5G commercial service in four markets this year, and it’s named two of them: Sacramento and Los Angeles. In Sacramento, Samsung is supplying infrastructure, but Verizon didn’t identify the vendor for the Los Angeles market.

A lot of firsts are being bandied about when it comes to 5G, a trend that shows no signs of letting up anytime soon.

RELATED: Verizon boasts first 5G call using 3GPP-based standards

In February, Verizon announced an over-the-air video stream call on a 3GPP-compliant 5G New Radio (NR) system using licensed spectrum. That also involved Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies and was done at Nokia’s facility in Murray Hill, New Jersey, following prior interoperability testing between Nokia and Qualcomm.  

But in May, T-Mobile said via Twitter that it made the nation’s first 3GPP standards-based millimeter wave over-the-air uplink/downlink 5G data transmission—with Nokia. Verizon quickly shot back with a tweet of its own, calling it “baloney.”