Nokia says it will introduce its 4.9G technologies by the end of 2017, allowing operators to enhance their existing network performance and manage the significantly higher infrastructure demands on the path to 5G.
Among the new products to be showcased at Mobile World Congress 2017 are a 4.9G massive MIMO adaptive antenna, which will increase cell capacity by up to five times, while a new 4.5G Pro AirScale Micro remote radio head (RRH) will allow operators to take advantage of unlicensed spectrum to enable Gigabit speeds.
Nokia 4.9G will provide significant increases in capacity and several Gigabits of speed-per-second on the path to 5G, the company said. The introduction of the AirScale massive MIMO adaptive antenna will help drive capacity increases for megacity deployments.
3D beamforming software
At Mobile World Congress 2017, Nokia, working with the US service provider Sprint, will demonstrate the technology using 3D beamforming software to deliver throughput gains of up to eightfold uplink and fivefold downlink. The demonstration will leverage commercially-available devices operating on TD-LTE band 41.
AirScale massive MIMO
The AirScale massive MIMO launch complements Nokia 4.9G Cloud RAN technology. At MWC, Nokia will give a demonstration of Cloud Single RAN running virtualised 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G radios and 2G and 3G network controllers over commercial AirScale and AirFrame platforms.
AirScale active antennas
A range of AirScale active antennas will complement Nokia's existing commercial radio antenna system. In addition to the AirScale massive MIMO adaptive antenna, the AirScale compact active antenna will provide an even leaner site solution which will increase performance and lower operators' costs, Nokia said.
AirScale Micro remote radio head
Nokia also claimed it will make 4.5G Pro Gigabit data speeds a reality now for operators with limited and disparate blocks of spectrum, while allowing them to densify networks with the commercial introduction of a new AirScale Micro remote radio head (RRH). This will allow macro sites to leverage unlicensed spectrum using Licensed Assisted Access (LAA).
AirScale base station enhancements
As cities grow and the world's population becomes increasingly urban, operators need to rapidly densify networks in city locations while slashing costs and CO2 emissions. Nokia is introducing enhancements to its AirScale base station (pictured above) that will allow them to do this with the most compact footprint while reducing operational costs by up to 40%.
The new AirScale multiband remote radio heads include the world's first triple-band example, while Nokia is also launching new frequency variants. Nokia Zero Emission 3.0 will reduce operators' energy consumption by up to 50% using new hardware and software features while the Intelligent Deployment Platform uses automation to accelerate AirScale deployment life cycle by up to 40%.
Nokia will be demonstrating a variety of its 4.5G Pro and 4.9G technologies and will highlight many of its ultra-broadband developments at Mobile World Congress, including:
• Demonstration of 4.9G AirScale technology to achieve 3 Gbps peak rates
• Demonstration of 4.5G Pro CBRS-FDD four carrier aggregation connected to Nokia Bell Labs Spectrum Access System (SAS) using a commercial chipset
• Nokia Bell Labs Liquid Cooling demonstration converting 80% of base station waste into useful heat to reduce site power costs.
Frank Weyerich, head of Mobile Networks Products at Nokia, said: "Nokia introduced 4.5G Pro and 4.9G last year to allow operators to implement network capacity increases where and when it made sense for them. Now we are delivering features that will maximize their resources, speed deployment times and cut power and costs especially in the most densely populated locations. We are making 4.5G Pro a commercial reality now and working with customers to innovate with solutions to their network densification and evolution challenges in 4.9G and beyond."