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Nokia Claims “World Record” Live 5G Mobile Speed of 4.7Gbps

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 (8:27 am) - Score 1,722

Finnish networking firm Nokia claims to have achieved a “world record” 5G based mobile broadband speed of 4.7Gbps (Gigabits per second) via their live Over-the-Air (OTA) network in the USA (Dallas, Texas), which used the company’s existing commercial software and hardware solutions. Interestingly 4G helped to give it a boost.

The speed was achieved by harnessing 800MHz of commercial millimeter Wave (mmW) 5G spectrum and Dual Connectivity (EN-DC) functionality in the 28GHz and 39GHz radio bands on their AirScale Radio Access platform, which was distributed across a total of 8 x 100MHz channels (Carrier Aggregation). The setup also harnessed 40MHz of existing 4G (LTE) spectrum via EN-DC (i.e. using both 4G and 5G simultaneously to boost the connection speed).

NOTE: The record was achieved on both 5G cloud-based (vRAN) and classic baseband configurations.

At this point some readers may note that Samsung recently claimed a significantly faster speed of 8.5Gbps (Gigabits per second) using a similar setup (here), although their achievement came via way of an limited indoor lab test. By comparison it appears as if Nokia were using a real OTA network deployment.

However, we say “appears” because there’s not a lot of detail and, as per usual, no information is given for the crucial measurement of distance (i.e. hitting multi-Gigabit speeds is distinctly less impressive if we’re talking only a handful of feet – e.g. Samsung’s test – or metres). The use of mmW spectrum, which is extremely weak over any kind of real distance, suggests the signal probably didn’t travel too far.

Tommi Uitto, Nokia’s President of Mobile Networks, said:

“This is an important and significant milestone in the development of 5G services in the U.S, particularly at a time when connectivity and capacity is so crucial. It demonstrates the confidence operators have in our global end-to-end portfolio and the progress we have made to deliver the best possible 5G experiences to customers.

We already supply our mmWave radios to all of the major US carriers and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them moving forward.”

Just for comparison, most 5G operators in the UK currently only have access to 40-50MHz each via the 3.4GHz band, although Three UK can harness up to around 140MHz (including a single contiguous block of 100MHz) of spectrum. Ofcom intend to auction off a little more spectrum in the 700MHz and 3-4GHz bands by the end of 2020, but for now no UK mobile operators can harness any mmW spectrum like the Nokia setup above.

The ITU’s original IMT-2020 specification for 5G set a peak downstream rate of 20Gbps and it will probably be a few more years, as well as spectrum auctions, before real-world deployments can get even remotely close to that. Even then we’re often talking about peak capacity that still needs to be shared between many end users.

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1 Response
  1. Avatar Chris

    And people still want to stick to their fibre/copper provided broadband and home wifi.

    One day having a home router will seem odd when everything can just connect to your airtime account via 5g.

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