Nokia has claimed a milestone in the delivery of enhanced 5G capacity via a software upgrade on its commercial AirScale solution.
The lab test delivered approximately 3Gbps total downlink cell throughput and was performed using Sprint 5G with a software upgrade of E-UTRAN New Radio - Dual Connectivity (EN-DC) and Multi-User-Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) – the first time this has been achieved, according to Nokia.
“When the service is made commercially available, it will allow operators to vastly increase their network capacity via a software update without having to invest in additional spectrum,” a statement said.
The test, which used Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum as well as commercial devices such as hotspots, leveraged Massive MIMO to achieve 16 layers of MU-MIMO to deliver up to four times the total downlink cell throughput.
No additional spectrum
Typically, MIMO consists of two layers of network capacity but massive MIMO multiplies the capacity of a wireless connection without requiring additional spectrum. Nokia’s AirScale Dual Mode Massive MIMO for 5G and LTE solution was used to deliver multi-gigabit cell downlink throughput.
The service uses existing hardware but requires an upgrade to the software in the base station which can be performed remotely. This means that operators will be able to offer enhanced services without any requirement for site visits to change hardware or transport.
EN-DC allows devices to add throughput to LTE and 5G networks – resulting in higher user throughput. Typically, operators use two radios for LTE and 5G but for this test, Nokia used a single AirScale unit.
Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks, Nokia, commented, “This is the latest achievement from our long-standing relationship with Sprint. The demand for 4G and 5G mobile data continues to rise exponentially and this impacts network capacity.”
“This test is an important milestone as it will help operators to vastly increase capacity now and in the future, helping to deliver excellent customer experiences while keeping costs to a minimum,” he added.
Elenion acquisition complete
Separately, Nokia completed the acquisition of Elenion Technologies, a US-based company focusing on silicon photonics technology. The acquisition was last month.
Elenion’s technology expertise and unique design platform and services will enable Nokia better to address and rapidly evolving optical connectivity requirements of 5G, cloud and enterprise networking the company said.
It added that ownership of these key assets brings time-to-market and cost advantages to Nokia’s networking solutions by applying the massive scale and economies of silicon design and manufacturing to the optical supply chain.