Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies announced Tuesday they have completed interoperability and over-the-air testing between network infrastructure and devices using the 3.5-GHz and 28-GHz spectrum bands in line with the 3GPP 5G NR Release 15 standard ratified in December.
The 5G NR testing, which took place at Nokia’s 5G center of excellence in Oulu, Finland, used a commercially available Nokia AirScale base station and Qualcomm’s 5G NR device prototypes.
The test will provide the basis for standards-based, over-the-air 5G NR trials with operators in 2018.
Ten mobile carriers - BT/EE, Deutsche Telekom, Elisa, KT, LGU+, NTT Docomo, Optus, SK Telecom, Telia and Vodafone Group - are already committed to working with Nokia and Qualcomm in verifying and trialing 5G NR technology, the companies said in a joint statement.
This will be based on the successful interoperability tests of the flexible 5G NR interface from Nokia and Qualcomm, who first agreed in September, 2017 to collaborate on 5G NR technology.
The companies expect their tests will contribute to widescale deployments of 5G NR networks and devices next year. This will also enable timely commercial network launches in 2019, in particular in US, China, Japan, Korea and Europe, the companies noted.
In a related 5G news, Shenzhen-headquartered ZTE has released what it says the world’s first end-to-end, cloud-based network slicing solution covering across 5G RAN, core network and bearer network.
In a statement, ZTE said the 5G E2E network slicing system is based on an industry-leading micro-service architecture and realizes the convergence of the unified air interface, the virtualized core network and the SDN-based bearer network. It will build up the capability of NSaaS (Network Slice as a Service), enabling different business models to co-exist on a unified 5G network architecture.
ZTE vice president You Yan said the new product is the key to the 5G network supporting industry digital transformation. It allows users to “slice” the physical network into multiple virtualized networks to support different industrial services, such as industrial control, automatic driving, intelligent power grid and remote medical treatment.
“It not only provides an industrial leading implementation method of network slice, but also turns the network slice into an operational and valuable product for the vertical industry," the executive said.
The system also supports the life-cycle management of end-to-end network slices through its intelligent operation and orchestration system.
The product announcement comes a few days after the company announced plans to raise RMB13 billion ($2.1 billion) to aid its 5G ambitious.
ZTE has placed a strong bet on 5G, investing 3 billion yuan ($500 million) annually on 5G and has a team of over 4500 staff dedicated for 5G research. In 2017, the company has partnered with more than 20 leading global mobile network operators - such as China Mobile and Softbank - on 5G trials and deployment of 5G pre-commercial networks.