Do all roads lead to 5G?
The Roman Empire developed a network of complex and highly efficient roads that provided new opportunity, additional revenue, and faster delivery. Two thousand years later, 5G holds the same promise. And although new roads may lead to 5G, there are many paths to get there and each has multiple lanes.
5G already a reality.
Proof of concepts are happening today. The largest North American operators already are working with Nokia to formulate their individual strategies. In each case, they have advanced past the research stage and are fully immersed in Research and Development and field trials. In North America, we fully expect to see operators conducting customer market trials in 2017, long before the standards are in place.
- AT&T is conducting 5G trials in two U.S. cities, simulating real-world and high demand situations such as large concerts and sporting events. Early work also is being done to support future consumer experiences such as self-driving cars. Press Release
- Verizon successfully sent Ultra HD 4K video content to multiple devices from outdoors to a residential apartment. The test used Verizon’s live Dallas-Fort Worth network. Press Release
- T-Mobile is testing its pre-standards 5G network in both their lab and in field trials using pre-selected spectrum in the 28Ghz band. Press Release
- Sprint delivered the first 5G demonstration at a large scale event by streaming live coverage of the Copa América soccer tournament. Attendees could watch the games in 4K ultra HD video that was delivered wirelessly to 4K capable TVs. Press Release
5G for all.
Operators of all sizes are taking steps to embark on their 5G journey. Even without definite standards, preparation starts today. Many regional carriers and enterprise customers are developing their “readiness strategy” now, including upgrading their current networks. A variety of use cases are being investigated and business cases are being developed to assess and seize the explosive new opportunities 5G will bring.
4G has a lot of life left.
5G is a technology evolution, not a standalone solution. 4G networks will continue to evolve and will interplay with 5G well into the future. Continuing to invest in 4G is important. And, it’s likely time to begin investing in 4G products and services that are prerequisites and are designed to support 5G going forward. For example, Nokia’s AirScale products (Base Stations, Cloud RAN, WiFi and software) are specifically designed with the agility, capacity, speed and adaptability needed for 5G.
Instead of battling all the pieces of a customer’s network that don’t work together perfectly, Nokia embraces it as part of the overall 5G planning. Networks consisting of varying products and manufacturers isn’t the exception, but the rule. We approach each opportunity with the goal of helping architect the best network possible including leveraging existing technology investments. Once the best approach is identified, we then work to introduce products that are designed to bridge into 5G when it’s time and the investment is warranted.
Innovation at work.
Nokia is demonstrating its market leadership by arming customers with innovative 5G-ready products and services today. Since 2013 we have researched and developed what is now a full offering solution that extends far beyond base stations and the RAN. For example, our latest products are designed to support LTE Advanced, and future cmWave and mmWave technologies which are critical for 5G. Implementing these products now helps customer lower the required density for small cells and reduce latency in addition to providing a 5G transition path going forward.
Now is the time for every operator and enterprise to start asking the important questions and preparing their network for the future. Nokia’s real-world 5G expertise combined with our experience with heterogeneous networks places us in a unique space, ready to help organizations pick the right road towards 5G.