5g-ready cell sites could help reduce call drops - and more
Nokia Networks' new technology is predominantly software-driven, and could deliver a range of mobile technologies simultaneously
5G-ready technology could bring some relief to congested Indian mobile networks next year. Nokia Networks says it will launch 5G-ready cell sites with 10Gbps capacity by 2017.
The equipment will be targeted at service providers who initially want to use 5G to address areas of congestion, or homes which lack fiber in the last few meters. The small cells will typically be placed on lamp posts to fill those gaps.
Nokia said the equipment will be software upgradeable to 5G, however the final standards look, because it is built around virtualized baseband software, which will also make the product easily adaptable for other use cases such as M2M.
The new base station technology is called AirScale Radio Access, and will be "5G-ready" largely because so much of the system will operate in software.
AirScale Radio Access will be demonstrated for the first time at this year's Mobile World Congress. It includes mechanisms for using unlicensed spectrum, such as LTE Wi-Fi Aggregation, which gives users the combined capacity of both types of networks. There will also be computing power in the network that third parties can use to run applications that take advantage of low-latency connections.
AirScale Radio Access can in fact deliver 2G, 3G, TDD-LTE, FDD-lTE, LTE Advanced, and LTE Advanced Pro simultaneously, all in the same base-station, along with carrier-grade WiFi. For 5G, the multiband hardware is already ready for the faster, next-generation standards - Nokia has seen 19.1 Gbps rates in its trials with SKTelecom, for instance - while a cloud-based Radio Access Network makes stitching together all those standards straightforward.
Multiple AirScale base stations can be daisy-chained to bolster coverage, which Nokia expects to be instrumental in padding out networks as 5G comes online and more and more IoT devices proliferate.
Sources: Rethink Wireless, Nokia website
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