Vodafone Hutchison Australia and Nokia field test 700MHz for 5G

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This low-band spectrum will complement 3.5GHz outdoors and is especially suitable for indoor coverage.

The two say that, combined with its 5G spectrum in the 3.5GHz band, the operator will be able to deliver a combination of speed, capacity and coverage to its customers.
 
The trial uses Nokia’s AirScale portfolio and is being tested on some of Vodafone Hutchison Australia’s 5G sites in and around Parramatta (pictured) in Western Sydney.

The 700MHz spectrum will be rolled out to selected areas as part the ongoing 5G deployment. Nokia Global Services will provice project planning, installation, and network optimisation services.

Repurposing

The parties will experts will repurpose the 700MHz spectrum where it can improve service to 5G and the services it supports, while maintaining the performance of the 4G network.  

Iñaki Berroeta, Chief Executive Officer at Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA), said, “We are proud to be showcasing this innovative use of the lowest band spectrum available in Australia with the first live test deployment of 5G on low-band 700Mhz spectrum in our region.

“Our partnership with Nokia has enabled us to deliver an innovative solution with our customers’ experience front of mind. Incorporating 700Mhz spectrum will complement our existing 5G network plans and help deliver the benefits of 5G’s speed, capacity and coverage.”

Wider group

No doubt the experience in Australia will benefit the Vodafone Group as 700MHz gradually becomes available for 5G across Europe - for example, that spectrum is due to be auctioned in June in the Netherlands.

In February Vodafone, working with Ericsson, Huawei and Qualcomm, demonstrated what it claimed was the world’s first 5G dynamic spectrum-sharing on a combination of two low spectrum bands – 700MHz and 800MHz simulatneously on a 5G non-standalone device.

During the demo at Vodafone’s VIP lab in Düsseldorf, 800MHz was used as the “anchor band” while 700MHz was shared dynamically between 4G and 5G, allowing operators to allocate spectrum resources according to demands on the network