Telecoms equipment companies Nokia, Qualcomm, and Ericsson are continuing to make good progress in 5G readiness, with tests and upgrades in line with 3GPP’s 5G NR (New Radio) Release 15 Standard.
Finnish vendor Nokia and chip giant Qualcomm have collaborated on tests of 5G NR specifications between network infrastructures and mobile devices.
The companies completed tests in both the 3.5Ghz and 28Ghz spectrums that were compliant with the standard, which was formally confirmed in December, using a Nokia AirScale base station and device prototypes from Qualcomm.
The tests were carried out at Nokia’s 5G centre of excellence in Oulu, Finland, which will host 5G NR field trails with operators in 2018.
The two companies, plus mobile operators including BT/EE, Deutsche Telekom, Elisa, KT, LGU+, NTT DOCOMO, Optus, SKT, Telia, and Vodafone Group, have committed to working together in verifying and trialling 5G NR technology.
Nokia and Qualcomm are preparing for wide-scale 5G deployments in 2019, based on 3GPP standard-compliant 5G infrastructure and devices. They hope this will enable commercial network launches in 2019, particularly in the US, China, Japan, Korea, and Europe.
Meanwhile, Sweden’s Ericsson has announced that it has upgraded its 5G commercial software. The platform, which was launched in February last year, will allow carriers to launch 5G services from Q4 this year, and will also enable multi-band spectrum support to allow for deployments globally by carriers that have differing 5G frequency availability.
The upgrade means that the platform can support 5G radio access network (RAN) commercial software based on the 5G NR standards. All Ericsson Radio System products will also be backwards compatible with 5G NR capabilities.
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The moves by all three vendors reveal just how quickly the market can change once standards are set. The 5G NR standard was the first ever 5G specification to be officially signed off by the 3GPP, the body that governs cellular standards. It was formally approved in December. Also in December, Vodafone, Ericsson and King’s College London claimed they had completed the first successful UK 5G trial.