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Nokia claims world’s first 5G-ready network

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Nokia has laid claim to having the world’s first 5G-ready network, which it plans on demonstrating later this week in London.

While 5G claims are not new, Nokia says this time it is different. This project, which will be showcased at the 5G World show in London this week, involves three principal layers of technology. Leaning heavily on its AirScale suite, the 5G network stack will involve radio access technology linking up with a cloud-based packet core, which itself runs on top of the AirFrame data centre platform.

Nokia claims this, in itself, is the foundation of a commercial 5G architecture; a claim some might consider to be bold considering 5G standards are yet to be fully ratified. That being said, Nokia does currently serve as chair of the 5G-PPP, the EU’s project dedicated to determining ubiquitous standards for the fifth generation of wireless technology. It is also heavily involved with other associations and has formed R&D partnerships with a variety of global operators ranging from China Mobile to Verizon Wireless. It’s conceivable to think it has run ahead with early signs given to it by the operator community for what they’re after from 5G.

“Nokia is a leading force in driving 5G standardization and our technology innovations are allowing the industry to move more rapidly toward commercial 5G systems,” said Hossein Moiin, CTO of Nokia’s Mobile Networks group. “By introducing 5G-ready technologies now in our commercial solutions, which support today’s LTE-Advanced and the upcoming LTE-Advanced Pro / Pro II, our customers can smartly bridge their networks to 5G. This will allow them to create and capture new business and meet the massive data demand from people and IoT as it develops.”

Bell Labs Consulting, which Nokia acquired as part of the Alcatel-Lucent purchase, says something in the region of 46 billion devices will be the beneficiaries of 5G technology. While augmented and virtual reality is one of the areas which will rely heavily on 5G (ZTE says VR content streaming will require <20 millisecond latency and 60 Mbps download speed), other services standing to gain from the realisation of 5G include autonomous cars, industrial automation, remote robotics, smart cities and personal healthcare.

One of the other technologies contributing to the realisation of 4G’s successor is network slicing, which was recently demonstrated by Ericsson and NTT DoCoMo. Nokia says it will be demoing this technology at 5G World as well, and that the outcome of trials suggests new services can be created instantly and delivered to meet the specific and diverse demands of any customer or application, such as low latency support for IoT, or high speed broadband for enterprise or residential customers.

Elsewhere, Nokia says it has won a deal with Telefónica for a nationwide metro optical network in Spain. Telefónica says its Fusión Red service is fuelled by the need for more network capacity to cater for the exponential growth in data traffic it is experiencing at present. As such, Nokia will be deploying its new optical solution suite to densely populated areas such as Barcelona in Catalonia, and is hoping to cover half of Spain.

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