Nokia says it has broken the world 5G speed record for an over-the-air 5G transmission, reaching 4.7Gbps on a US operator’s network in Dallas, Texas.
The Finnish networking giant was able to achieve the speeds by pairing 800MHz of commercial millimetre-Wave (mmWave) spectrum in the 28GHz and 39GHz bands with 40MHz of LTE bandwidth using its dual connectivity capabilities.
Dual connectivity allows operators to transmit data simultaneously across 5G and 4G networks, achieving higher transmission rates than using either technology independently.
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Nokia 5G speed record
Whereas nearly all European 5G networks launched to date are powered by mid-range bands like 3.4GHz, several US carriers are offering 5G broadband services using mmWave spectrum. Although mmWave has limited range, it offers a high level of performance over a small radius.
Nokia says the tests demonstrate the ability of 5G to deliver ultrafast mobile broadband to consumers and is further evidence of the opportunities for operators to offer new applications that harness the greater speeds, enhanced capacity and ultra-low latency.
“This is an important and significant milestone in the development of 5G services in the US, particularly at a time when connectivity and capacity is so crucial,” said Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia.
“It demonstrates the confidence operators have in our global end-to-end portfolio and the progress we have made to deliver the best possible 5G experiences to customers. We already supply our mmWave radios to all of the major US carriers and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them moving forward.”
Nokia will hope the accolade will give its 5G efforts a boost as it competes with the likes of Cisco, Ericsson and Nokia for market share.
The company is positioning itself as a one-stop-shop for 5G, capable of providing kit for the radio, transport and core layers of next generation networks. It is especially pushing its ‘AirScale’ platform (and features like dual connectivity) as a way for operators to maximise their spectrum assets.
Nokia says procuring equipment, software and services from a single vendor can reduce total cost of ownership by more than 20 per cent and reduce time to market by at least 30 per cent when compared to a multi-vendor strategy.
However, the high cost of developing 5G technology and intense competition in the sector has resulted in the firm cutting its financial outlooks and pausing dividends in recent times. This has led to speculation that Nokia was exploring a merger or possible sale of assets, while reports have suggested the company was preparing to guard itself against any hostile takeover attempt.
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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.