Nokia, Ericsson working with operators in Taiwan, Singapore to speed-up 5G deployments

Network infrastructure vendor Nokia has signed a number of agreements with telecom operators in Taiwan in order to accelerate their 5G commercial deployments and enhance their related 4G applications, Taiwanese press reported.

According to the vendor’s VP for Greater China Michael Shieh, Nokia will also cooperate with related partners in Taiwan in the fields of internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), Industry 4.0 and other hardware devices.

The executive highlighted that the period from 2018 to 2019 will be crucial to the commercial deployments of 5G networks and devices, as the fast development of IoT, AI and other applications will help drive the establishment of related 5G infrastructure globally.

Nokia also said that it will work with telecom operators and other business partners to help government agencies and enterprises in Taiwan to digitalize or upgrade their network systems.

Shieh also said that the successful interoperability testing compliant with the 5G New Radio (NR) specification between network infrastructure and devices jointly carried out by Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies will help accelerate the deployment of 5G NR commercial devices during 2019.

Last week, Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies announced they have successfully completed interoperability testing in the 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz spectrum compliant with the global 3GPP 5G NR Release 15 standard – which was formally confirmed in December. During the test, the companies used the Nokia AirScale base station and device prototypes from Qualcomm Technologies.

The two firms said that a number of operators including including BT/EE, Deutsche Telekom, Elisa, KT, LG Uplus+, NTT Docomo, Optus, SK Telecom, Telia and Vodafone Group are already committed to working together in verifying and trialling 5G NR technology.

Also in Asia, Singaporean operator Singtel, working in partnership with equipment vendor Ericsson, said it hopes to offer its customers a 1 Gbps mobile service later this year, following the completion of successful trials in its network.

The Asian telco said the new offering will use the newly-acquired spectrum in the 2500MHz band to deliver quad-band carrier aggregation (CA). Singtel will initially focus on deploying the new service in key high-traffic locations such as Orchard Road, Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar and Clarke Quay.

“As the world prepares for the 5G era, Singtel is leveraging its spectrum assets and the latest advancements in mobile technology to optimise our network usage,” Mark Chong, Singtel’s CTO, said.

Handsets supporting the 1 Gbps speeds offered by quad-band FDD/TDD CA are expected to be available from the second half of 2018, the executive added.

In December 2017 Singtel and Ericsson achieved a peak speed of 1.1 Gbps in a joint trial of a new configuration of Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology. The laboratory tests broke the 1Gbps barrier by successfully combining several key LTE technologies including 256 QAM, 4×4 MIMO, and aggregating two licensed and three unlicensed spectrum bands on a TM500 test system device.

Following this successful trial, Singtel began exploring the feasibility of deploying the technology on Singtel’s network.

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