Nokia Networks is working on a 5G-ready solution that connects fibre networks to nearby homes to provide at least 1Gbps broadband throughput. The solution is designed to provide a bridge from existing fibre networks using high throughput 5G-ready hotspots placed, for example, on adjacent lamp posts to cover the last hop.
The company said it can describe the solution as 5G-ready because it differs from current 4G LTE implementations as it utilises high-order MIMO and new layer 1 protocol. It will predominantly utilise spectrum below 6GHz to ease indoor penetration.
Nokia will start trialling the solution in 2016 and is targeting commercial availability in 2017. The idea is that 5G-ready network elements will be easy to upgrade to full 5G once standards are fully defined and established. The company sees the initiative as the first concrete step towards realizing the benefits of full 5G.
It said that its holistic programmable 5G multi-service architecture revealed on 2 September 2015 provides a clear view on what type of network architecture is needed related to future use cases, including not only people but mission-critical machine communications, and machine-to-machine connections for enhanced Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
In April 2015, at the Brooklyn Summit, Nokia Networks together with National Instruments demonstrated 10Gbps speeds over the air with massive MIMO and beamsteering technologies, which it says will pave the way for meeting 5G requirements. It argues that this is a concrete proof point of its capability to deliver on the promise of a true 1Gbps last hop connection to the home in the timeline outlined above.
Marc Rouanne, executive vice president, Mobile Broadband at Nokia Networks, said: "We have all the building blocks in place to make the first concrete 5G use case a reality as early as in 2017. This marks an important foundation for shaping the future of mobile broadband and enabling a personalised gigabit experience for the broadband subscribers in the comfort of their home."