Nokia, Elisa, Qualcomm claim record 5G uplink speeds over mmWave spectrum

Chip giant, comms tech provider and Finnish operator reveal 5G trial hitting record-breaking uplink speeds of 2.1Gbps over 2Gbps on mmWave spectrum to enable ultra-high-performing, low-latency services

Finnish operator Elisa has teamed with mobile tech providers Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies on a project that has demonstrated a milestone 5G uplink speed of 2.1Gbps.

Elisa has more than 2.8 million consumer, corporate and public administration customers in its core markets of Finland and Estonia, as well as in over 100 countries globally, where its co-operation partners include Vodafone and Tele2.

The new live uplink demonstration at the Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland, follows 8Gbps downlink speeds announced in 2020. Such work is designed to enable Elisa to offer ultra-high-performing, low-latency 5G services that will enhance experiences for users. The technology is expected to be fully deployed in 2023.

The Nokia Arena is one of the first stadiums equipped with 5G mmWave. Uplink capabilities are important for new applications leveraging edge computing, such as media broadcasting or high-definition streaming from the venue.

Once deployed, the service will be deployed to create new opportunities for at-venue data services, such as real-time multi-user 8K ultra-high-definition video streaming and augmented reality content for smartphones or wearable devices for immersive experiences. Visitors to the Arena will also be able to watch live performances from 360º camera locations via virtual reality headsets from the comfort of their seats.

Nokia says broadcasters will also benefit from enhanced video capture to support ultra-high-quality live reporting and content delivered to mobile devices and televisions. At the same time, 5G technology will support optimising venue operations and critical functions such as security. 

For the trial, Nokia provided its AirScale base station in 26GHz mmWave spectrum over Elisa’s commercial 5G network. The network was connected to a 5G device powered by a Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System featuring fourth-generation Qualcomm QTM545 mmWave antenna modules. Also, Nokia deployed its Carrier Aggregation technology to make the best use of the available spectrum assets. The Carrier Aggregation setup included four component carriers of 100MHz each.

“Elisa is leading in the development of 5G services in Finland and this is yet another important step in our efforts to bring the fastest speeds and best 5G experiences to our customers,” said Sami Komulainen, executive vice-president, production at Elisa. “We previously announced reaching 8Gbps downlink speeds with Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies and now we have pushed the possibilities of 5G technology even further with this new trial reaching over 2Gbps uplink speeds. This will deliver incredible and enhanced services to visitors at the Nokia Arena.”

Ari Kynäslahti, head of technology and strategyat Nokia Mobile Networks, added: “5G mmWave stands out as an optimal solution for venues like stadiums, where large capacity and ultra-high data speeds are needed over a short distance for thousands of mobile users at the same time. Carrier Aggregation is the key to fully leveraging spectrum assets in different frequency bands. We look forward to seeing visitors enjoy innovative 5G experiences at the Nokia Arena soon.”

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