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Nokia says 5G as early as 2017, hits 20 Gbps in trials

William Payne
February 24, 2016

Finnish telecoms company Nokia has claimed that it has become the first company to demonstrate 5G cellular mobile networking running over a commercially available base station. It says that it has achieved speeds over 20 Gbps. The company says that it has demonstrated that 5G could be rolled out as early as 2017 on base station equipment that is available to the market today.

According to Nokia, this is the first time 5G radio access is being demonstrated on commercial hardware. Operators will be able to launch 5G earlier and at lower cost, and migrate their existing LTE infrastructure to early 5G services in 2017, with full 5G commercial services expected in 2020.

Nokia says that it has shown how operators can test 5G use cases in their networks using all spectrum bands, including sub-6 GHz for wide area coverage and early market entry, with cmWave and mmWave providing very high communications capacity.

The company claims that such early testing ahead of full 5G standards, currently being devised by various standards bodies with the aim of having them in place by 2020, will help ensure that subscribers get  superior and consistent performance of 5G from day one.

Hossein Moiin, CTO of Nokia Mobile Networks, said: "This is the industry's first demonstration of how 5G will work in practice, going beyond previous experimental systems. We are showing 5G live on our commercial AirScale radio access product - it's a major advance because it means that 5G is no longer a distant vision. Now operators can invest with confidence in network equipment that will support both existing and 5G technologies when they are standardized."

Nokia also claims that its Nokia Bell Labs R&D centre has set a record with demonstrations showing peak data speeds of over 30 Gbps to an end user, and over 1 million connections simultaneously served by a single cell.