Mobile Devices

Nokia to begin 5G standalone trials in Japan

18 November 2021

Networking equipment giant Nokia is conducting a 5G standalone (SA) network trial in Japan, testing a sub-6 GHz spectrum to support high capacity and mobile broadband capabilities.

The trial will be conducted with Chubu Telecommunications Co. (CTC), a subsidiary of KDDI, with Nokia supplying its AirScale portfolio and compact mobility unit (CMU) to support both 5G indoor and outdoor connectivity.

The trial will use a local 5G network that is independent of traditional mobile networks and use Sub-6 GHz 4.6 to 4.9 spectrum band for enhanced capacity.

Non-standalone (NSA) 5G technology, which has been the bulk of the 5G networks deployed worldwide, uses 4G infrastructure already in place and piggybacks on the 5G signal through this equipment. Because 4G infrastructure has been deployed globally, the non-standalone equipment is more plentiful than standalone 5G equipment currently installed worldwide. However, standalone infrastructure is growing in deployment.

Standalone 5G uses new infrastructure put in place specifically to run 5G networks allowing smart devices and other potential use cases to take advantage of the high download speed, high bandwidth and low latency that the technology affords.

The goal of the Japanese trial is to verify how Nokia’s 5G SA network can enable commercial fixed wireless access services, allowing internet and telephone to subscribers without the need for fiber-optic installation to a customer’s home.

FWA is currently offered in lower bands of the wireless spectrum (sub 2 GHz to 6 GHz), but as millimeter wave (mmWave), the higher band of the spectrum, becomes ubiquitous, FWA will match or even outpace current broadband bandwidth. FWA could also be used to bring broadband services to remote areas where nothing exists or to places where broadband is extremely limited. It could also become a significant competitor to traditional broadband technology.

Earlier this year, Nokia announced it was developing a method to make 5G mmWave wireless access viable through its 360 High Gan technology that amplifies signals to find the strongest connection.

The trial

In the trial, 5G SA core was installed at a CTC lab and 5G base stations were installed at another CTC lab and an apartment complex in Nagoya City. Local 5G networks can be built ahead of time in areas where mobile network services have yet to be deployed.

CTC will examine the construction and operational processes of installing a 5G core and 5G base station as well as verify the application of local 5G such as radio wave propagation and communications performance in a live environment.

The trial will also explore how businesses can use the local 5G network for remote monitoring, video transmission and image analytics.

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