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Nokia Break Record – Push 5G Speed to 2Gbps at 11km Distance via mmW

Monday, Jun 26th, 2023 (9:51 am) - Score 3,592
concept of wireless radio Internet. 5G mobile technologies.

Finnish telecoms firm Nokia has hit a new milestone in 5G based mobile broadband speeds – when setup as a Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network – using millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, which saw them successfully achieve sustained average downloads of over 2Gbps (Gigabits / sec) at a distance of 10.86km.

The challenge with using mmW bands for low power wireless communications is usually that such signals are extremely weak, and thus they don’t tend to travel very far before their usefulness expires. As a result, constructing a mobile network that can harness them tends to be very expensive, which means that it’s only really viable in busy urban areas (e.g. shopping centres, big visitor attractions) or as a FWA solution for connecting individual homes and businesses.

NOTE: mmW bands go up to 300GHz, but mobile and fixed wireless networks tend to focus on the 24GHz to 100GHz range.

On the other hand, mmW comes attached to plenty of spare radio spectrum frequency, which enables it to carry masses of extra data and therein resides the key attraction – speed. The new generation of 5G technology has been designed to harness mmW and, in recent years, significant strides have been made in pushing the reach of such signals further than previously thought possible.

In this case, Nokia appears to have deployed their latest AirScale baseband and AirScale 24GHz (n258 band) mmWave radio and a Nokia FastMile 5G PoC CPE (customer premises equipment), which then connected a test site back to their OuluZone test facility in Oulu, Finland, over a distance of 10.86km.

The test itself aggregated 8 channels / component carriers (8CC), harnessing 800MHz of spectrum frequency inside the 24GHz band, to achieve a top downlink speed of 2.1Gbps. The caveat to this is that the network wasn’t particularly good on the upstream side, which was only able to achieve a speed of 57.2Mbps.

Ari Kynäslahti, Head of Strategy and Tech at Nokia Mobile Networks, said:

“We just set a new speed record for extended range 5G mmWave. This demonstrates that mmWave solutions will be an essential building block for operators to efficiently deliver widespread, multi-gigabit 5G broadband coverage to their customers in urban, suburban, and rural areas, complementing sub-6 GHz spectrum assets. This is a substantial achievement that reflects how we are constantly innovating and evolving our 5G services and solutions.”

Just to put this into some developmental context. Nokia effectively appears to have roughly doubled the distance and speeds that were being achieved with similar setups, via other manufacturers of RAN (radio) kit, about 2-3 years ago (example).

One of the key changes this time was the addition of Nokia’s new FastMile 5G PoC device for customers, which adopts a new type of high-gain 360° antenna (27dBi) that dynamically adapts to changing conditions to overcome mmWave deployment challenges. A number of mobile operators are currently conducting trials of the new kit.

The catch for the UK is that Ofcom are still consulting on how they’ll open up and auction off access to both the 26GHz (24.25GHz – 27.5GHz) and 40GHz (40.5GHz – 43.5GHz) bands for use by ultrafast 5G (mobile broadband) technology (here). As such, it might be a few more years before mobile operators can harness this sort of development.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
18 Responses
  1. Avatar photo 4chAnon says:

    Ofcom need to move faster. Other markets are outpacing us

    1. Avatar photo Phil says:

      UK are useless painful slow and behind! Don’t be so surprised.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      and it matters why? it is not as if they can come to this country and set it if they don’t have a licence, so it matters not if other countries have this superduper high speed for mobiles.

      Also, how safe is this mmWave thing?

    3. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      why, though?

      the “race to 5G” and “other countries will beat us” (to what?) nonsense has long been discredited.

      Most of the world doesn’t use mmWave 5G yet (as proven by devices like the iPhone where only the US model supports it, and they lost the physical SIM slot as a result since there’s an antenna where the SIM tray would be), in countries like Australia it has ended up being an extremely targeted deployment in the busiest of areas.

      The vendors will talk a good game when it comes to their various tests, but as ever it will fall short in real world performance. I look forward to wild changes in throughput as you cover bits of your phone with your hand, or just move a little

    4. Avatar photo x_term says:

      @Ad47uk safe? At 24-28GHz leaves between the antenna and CPE are enough to compromise reception, plus there’s no evidence these frequencies (used before in some cases for p2p links) are any harmful.

      @Ivor well one of the uses that’s being developed in Europe is to beef up fixed wireless and use it as infill for areas where it may not be viable to install full fibre. I’ve seen tests of a deployment using N78 + N257, customers get a 1000/200 service with a very small antenna on the roof, looks like that it delivers on the promise.

    5. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

      ‘Also, how safe is this mmWave thing?’

      100 GHz = 100,000,000,000 Hz. The nasty stuff starts with quite a few more 0s in the frequency. X-Rays start at about 30,000,000,000,000,000 Hz. There’s a fair amount of difference between them.

      This stuff wouldn’t be allowed to be used out in the open if it were considered dangerous at the wavelengths and signal powers in use. Contrary to some people’s belief dead customers don’t make mobile companies much money.

    6. Avatar photo 4chAnon says:

      Re: born in 1847: because I enjoy having nice things in my country, literally it. Also, very safe. If you have to post questions on ISPR and have no intention of actually changing your opinion anyways, you might as well just not ask next time.

      Re: Ivor: mmWave was supported before the removal of the SIM tray, AFAIK. But I don’t care about other countries, I just want nicer stuff faster than them.

    7. Avatar photo Andrew G says:

      4chAnon: “I just want nicer stuff faster than them”

      If this is so important, you are free to upsticks and move to the sunlit pastures that you believe offer such remarkable advantages, as other countries race ahead of medieval Blighty.

      Ofcom don’t need to move faster on cutting edge technologies that are a decade away from being a viable consumer product, especially since nothing will happen until there’s a proper international consensus and agreed standards. Instead they need to ensure that existing technologies can offer better coverage. They could start off by eliminating the thousands of miles of notspots on the rail and trunk road networks, and any of the coverage failings in urban areas.

    8. Avatar photo ad47uk says:

      @x_term and XGS Is On. while I agree that we need to go a bit higher to the nasty frequencies, X-terma saying that ere’s no evidence these frequencies are harmful is the problem, Many times we have been told that something is safe and then found out it is not.
      As for dead customers, if these frequencies are harmful it could take years before the effects are known, so the companies would have made a lot of money by then.
      I am not saying they are harmful, but my faith in people has gone long ago, and some people will do anything to make money.

      The other thing is with frequencies so high they will be limited and will no doubt bounce around off buildings, so antennas would have to be put closer to people.

      I still don’t get this need for speed on mobiles, I can understand it for people who can’t get decent broadband at home. I know of people who can get 5G and got a phone for their 5G and now saying they notice no difference. But people always want to go faster.

      I doubt this mmWave thing will happen for a while, may be years. 4G to be honest, does the job

  2. Avatar photo Michael V says:

    It’ll be great to see mmWave bands put to use. Yeah it’s great for FWA broadband but it will also enable wider use of IoT.

  3. Avatar photo Jimmy says:

    2Gbps in 800MHz of spectrum? Blimey, thank goodness there is plenty of spare spectrum up there.

    1. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

      Not a high modulation order is it? Sounds like it was BPSK with some QPSK.

  4. Avatar photo anon says:

    another lab experiment that we’ll never see in practice. I mean 4G was supposed to offer gigabit speeds. Never did outside of a lab. Except in extremely rare cases

    1. Avatar photo uwu says:

      Labs are to see what’s possible. It’s a lot easier to see what changes influence X, Y and Z in a closeted environment like a lab. Not everything research wise needs to be directly applicable to the real world rollout, if this provides an incremental increase it’s still a net W for Nokia customers and their customers.

  5. Avatar photo Philip says:

    5G mmWave signals need line of sight in dry air – this is not for in home / office connections

  6. Avatar photo Mark Smith says:

    I think this is all a bit of a circus to be honest. The MNOs have had the spectrum for years now and what exactly have they done with it?
    As far as I’m concerned they have just been deploying fake 5g which all it is capable of achieving is getting a 5g logo to light up on your phone screen.
    To deploy 5g properly and realise the benefits of extra capacity and performance, you need to deploy it as standalone.
    That will require densification….lots of small cells…..lots of fibre backhaul for those small cells….all back to dedicated data centres.
    They just won’t do it, because they know that nearly every use case right now can be and is served adequately by 4g technologies, and to deploy proper 5g is very expensive.

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      5G sells phones and yes you could be right about fake 5G logos, seen that happen on a phone where the network here don’t even have 5G.

  7. Avatar photo Jason says:

    And yet trying to make phone calls without ‘Call failed’ or intermittent signalling is so frustrating . Surely we should get the basics right first ?

Comments are closed

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