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Nokia, T-Mo Tackle Bi-directional, OTA 5G NR

Nokia and T-Mobile US say they have successfully transmitted data in a bi-directional, over-the-air 5G data session using a 3GPP-compliant 5G New Radio (NR) system at 28 GHz.  The companies conducted the test at T-Mobile US’ Bellevue lab with Nokia’s AirScale system and a user equipment simulator.

“By building on the tests Nokia has previously conducted with T-Mobile, T-Mobile is well on its way to 5G commercial deployment,” said Marc Rouanne, Nokia’s president of mobile networks.

T-Mobile US CTO Neville Ray agreed. “This test is a big step forward in building REAL 5G that will work on actual smartphones,” said Ray in a press release. “We’re excited to continue our work with Nokia to move the future of wireless forward and bring 5G to customers!”

The Nokia platform used in the test included the AirScale baseband and radio, AirFrame server, and AirScale Cloud RAN running 5G NR 3GPP-compliant software.

Nokia launched its latest AirFrame products in April. The server is designed to cut latency by bringing computing closer to the customer in an edge cloud. (Shown below are the AirFrame samples Nokia brought to the NFV-Zero Touch conference in April 2018, in Santa Clara, Calif.)

The latest 5G testing from T-Mobile US comes as the carrier expands its 600 MHz coverage, with an announcement this week that it now has activated its low-band holdings in more than 900 cities in 32 states. T-Mobile US has also outlined plans to start building out 5G and “5G-ready” capabilities in 30 markets this year, pinning its 5G strategy on mobile, smartphone-based 5G services once devices are available in 2019.

In February 2018, Verizon, Nokia and Qualcomm completed a 4K-video-stream call over the air using 3GPP-compliant 5G New Radio technology. It was 5G NR non-standalone on licensed millimeter wave spectrum. – RCR Wireless

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