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Nokia signs China Telecom 4G deal, demos 4G drones with EE

Nokia EE drone

Finnish networking giant Nokia has announced a new 4G network coverage deal with China Telecom to cover 19 Chinese provinces. At the same time it is experimenting with using drones for coverage in remote areas.

The China Telecom deal involves the deployment of 4G tech in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Shandong, Zhejiang, Hunan, Hubei, Guangxi, Fujian, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Heilongjiang, Hebei, Henan, Sichuan, Anhui, Liaoning, Guizhou, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia provinces. China Telecom expects more than 90% of the data traffic on its network to be over 4G by the end of 2017 and the deal will also lay the foundation for the launch of VoLTE services next year.

“This agreement with China Telecom builds on our long history of collaboration,” Mike Wang, Head of Nokia Networks China. “Our deep-rooted knowledge of the Chinese market will enable China Telecom to meet the demands of an ever-growing and dynamic 4G subscriber base.”

Meanwhile up in Scotland Nokia has joined forces with UK MNO EE to demonstrate the use of drones to carry a 2kg Nokia Flexi Zone Pico cell into the air and provide impromptu 4G coverage to remote areas.

Apparently the test achieved 150 Mbps data throughput without the need for a connection to an external core network, but they also tested the backhaul of a standard small cell to the EE core via satellite. Nokia didn’t detail how long one of these drones can stay aloft, but it surely can’t be more than a few hours, so this is probably more of an emergency, rather than absolute, coverage solution.

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