Nokia has talked up its ability to make the “first ever” demonstration of a 5G network running on commercial platforms at the 5G World event in London this week, which it claims “will underline the momentum of bringing 5G to commercial reality.”
The firm launched its supposed ‘5G-ready’ AirScale Radio Access technology in February. It now plans to demonstrate AirScale working together with its Cloud Packet Core kit, running on a Nokia AirFrame data centre platform, which it said is “the foundation of a commercial 5G architecture.”
When Nokia announced job cuts in April, it said it is adapting to a tough marketplace and a shift in resources to 5G, the cloud and the Internet of Things.
Now, as Nokia’s Bell Labs Consulting predicts that by 2020 full 5G services will be launched, and 46 billion connected devices will be in use, Nokia will conduct several activities to update the industry on its progress on 5G “and the creation of a seamless fabric of dynamic networks serving a multi-connected world.”
It wants to explain how it is accelerating the development and standardisation of 5G and providing the means for operators to “unlock the full potential of their networks”.
For instance, Nokia Bell Labs will demonstrate a new concept in network slicing, which will create and automatically map capabilities for the radio, transport, core and application layers into a discreet network ‘slice’.
Using cloud orchestration, new services can be created and delivered to meet a variety of demands, such as providing low-latency support or extreme high-speed broadband to enterprises and homes, the firm said.
Hossein Moiin, CTO of Nokia’s Mobile Networks business group, said: “By introducing 5G-ready technologies now in our commercial solutions, which support today’s LTE-Advanced and the upcoming LTE-Advanced Pro / Pro II, our customers can smartly bridge their networks to 5G. This will allow them to create and capture new business and meet the massive data demand from people and IoT as it develops.”
Nokia’s stance is similar to its rivals such as Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE, who are all making efforts to be seen as ‘ready’ for 5G. Earlier this month Ericsson touted software ‘plug-ins’ to help operators bridge the gap to future commercial 5G deployments (not expected until 2020). ZTE is busy marketing its ‘pre-5G’ kit while Huawei has focused on its 4.5G kit as a way of keeping operators ready for the next big step up in generations of mobile technology.
Meanwhile smaller mobile network vendor Samsung has set its sights on becoming a top-three player in the 5G infrastructure market, forecasting network equipment sales to more than triple to KRW10 trillion ($8.6 billion) in 2022.
Mobile World Live will be reporting from 5G World in London later this week.