Nokia, Samsung, and Australian mobile operator Optus have made the first data call using 3 components (3CC) carrier aggregation (CA) technology on a 5G Standalone (5G SA) network using a commercial smartphone.
The achievement paves the way for more advanced commercial 5G networks and revolutionary new use cases such as augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) applications that rely on high performance connectivity.
“We’re always looking at ways that we can further optimize our network performance to benefit our customers,” said Lambo Kanagaratnam, vice president of networks at Optus.
5G SA speed record
“Once available commercially, this 3 NR Carrier operation will enable customers to achieve a higher 5G download speed at more places improving their overall 5G experience. Our Samsung Galaxy S22 customers will soon be the first to benefit from this technology enhancement with other handsets to follow shortly after.”
Most 5G deployments to date have relied on 5G non-standalone 5G (5G NSA), 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.
Meanwhile, carrier aggregation fuses separate spectrum bands together to harness the advantages of each to deliver advances in speed, capacity and coverage, while allowing operators to maximise the efficiency of their assets.
For this particular trial, the partners used a combination of 2.1GHz, 2.3GHz and 3.5GHz frequencies combined with Nokia’s commercially available 5G equipment and a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra smartphone.
“Nokia is delighted to bring our market-leading 5G technology to Australia to deliver yet another 5G world first with Optus,” added Robert Joyce, chief technology officer at Nokia Oceania. “This market-leading 5G network enhancement provided by Nokia will allow Optus to continue to deliver superior network performance to its customers.”
In testing earlier in 2022, Nokia achieved speeds of 3Gbps using 3CC CA in trials with China Mobile and MediaTek.
- If you want the fastest speeds around, here are the best 5G phones you can currently buy
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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.