Verizon and Nokia completed what they’re describing as the first over-the-air, end-to-end data transmission on a commercial 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) network in Washington, D.C., using commercially deployed Nokia radio gear.
The feat was done using the non-standalone (NSA) core, and the significance of it is it’s the first transmission of this nature using commercial equipment in a field environment and not in a lab, according to Verizon spokesman John O'Malley.
But don’t read anything into the fact it was done in Washington, D.C., which is where a previous milestone also was accomplished. “We're testing our network and infrastructure equipment all the time. This demonstration was another test on our way to bringing mobile 5G service to market,” he told FierceWirelessTech.
In other words, Verizon is testing 5G flavors in multiple markets, and there’s no imminent announcement that D.C. will be among the first 5G markets to go 5G mobile. Verizon’s fixed residential broadband 5G offering is targeting four markets this year: Sacramento, Los Angeles, Houston and Indianapolis.
The D.C. transmission used Verizon’s millimeter wave spectrum (28 GHz) and 5G network core and a Nokia test van parked in downtown Washington. It was done as part of their ongoing work leading up to commercial 5G mobile service launches in 2019.
These two increasingly have been on the move. Last month, the two companies completed the transmission of a 3GPP NR 5G signal to a receiver located in a moving vehicle. That transmission took place at Nokia’s Murray Hill, N.J., campus. Another demo was done in D.C. in July showing fixed 5G service to lawmakers.
“The cadence and frequency of these significant milestone achievements from Verizon and Nokia show just how quickly we’re taking the promise of 5G technology from the lab to the field and to the marketplace where our customers will ultimately use this revolutionary technology,” said Bill Stone, vice president for technology development and planning for Verizon, in a statement. “We said Verizon will be first to 5G, and our latest milestone moves us closer to fulfilling that promise.”