Nokia breaks Standalone 5G record using 'world first' technique

(Image credit: Google)

Nokia, China Mobile (CMCC) and MediaTek have achieved a record 5G Standalone (5G SA) speed of 3Gbps thanks to the world’s first test of three component carrier aggregation technology.

Nearly all early 5G deployments to date have relied on Non-standalone 5G (NSA 5G), which uses new radio technologies but still relies on the underlying 4G core.

SA 5G uses a new virtual, cloud-based core that allows data to be processed closer to the point of collection and enables features like network slicing. This allows for guaranteed speeds, enhanced reliability and ultra-low latency.

5G SA speed record

Meanwhile, carrier aggregation fuses separate spectrum bands together to harness the advantages of each. For example, marrying the coverage and indoor propagation rates of low-band frequencies with the high capacity and data rates of mid and high band airwaves.

Not only will this capability improve speeds and coverage, it will allow operators to do so using their existing assets, reducing the cost of network deployment.

Carrier aggregation has been used on both 4G and 5G networks, helping to achieve speeds in excess of the 3Gbps recorded by Nokia and its partners. However, this is the fastest to date using 5G SA technology alone and offers an indication of what might be possible in a real world setting.

For this trial, the partners combined 30MHz of 700MHz and 100+160MHz of 2.6GHz to achieve the record transmission rates, showcasing the potential of 5G technology to offer even greater performance.

The record was achieved in Shanghai using Nokia’s radio equipment, China Mobile’s network and MediaTek’s 9000 5G mobile platform.

“Nokia has put a strong focus on leading in 5G Carrier Aggregation. This new speed record, using commercially available hardware and software, highlights how Nokia’s pioneering approach continues to drive important innovation in the market,” said Mark Atkinson, head of Radio Access Networks PLM at Nokia.

“5G Carrier Aggregation is a critical technology for mobile operators around the world to maximize the impact of their spectrum holdings and deliver enhanced coverage and capacity to subscribers. Nokia will keep pushing the boundaries of 5G to deliver industry-leading performance.”

“China Mobile is…committed to building a 5G multi-frequency collaborative network; This [three component carrier aggregation] verification can provide users with better throughput and user experience, and provide good technical foundations for new services,” added Ding Haiyi, VP of China Mobile’s Research Institute.

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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.