Nokia said it completed a series of Over-the-Air 5G new radio trials in C-band spectrum. The Dallas, Texas drive tests achieved stable peak throughput speeds of over 1 Gbps. Nokia says this confirms its solution is ready for commercial deployment ahead of the U.S. C-band spectrum auction now planned to begin in December.
Deployments in the C-band, between 3.4 GHz and 4.2 GHz, are expected in the first half of 2021. C-band will be prime spectrum for providing 5G services in the U.S., especially when combined with already deployed network infrastructure and spectrum bands via carrier aggregation and other interworking features.
Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, commented: “The mobile industry is dependent on the allocation of new spectrum to increase capacity and deliver enhanced mobile broadband services. This test, in the C-band, is significant because it proves that we have a solution ready-to-go following the completion of the spectrum auctions in the U.S. later this year.” The company is working with all major U.S. carriers.
The demonstration was performed in Dallas’ Cypress Waters neighborhood using Nokia’s AirScale 5G base station equipment that is a commercial end-to-end 5G solution enabling operators globally to capitalize on all their 5G spectrum assets (from 600 MHz to 39 GHz). It offers capacity scaling and latency as well as connectivity by enabling all air-interface technologies on the same radio access equipment.
The setup used 100 MHz of spectrum at 3.75 GHz with a 4×4 multiple-input and multiple-output, a method for multiplying the capacity of a radio link using multiple transmission and receiving antennas to exploit multipath propagation; it was also configured in non-standalone mode combined with Nokia’s core network.
During drive testing, Nokia monitored network performance and demonstrated the “handovers” successfully happened between C-band base stations. The connection and performance was stable throughout the entire test, highlighting the solution’s robustness and its readiness for commercial implementation, according to the manufacturer.