Tuesday, February 27, 2018

T-Mobile US to deploy Nokia 5G in 600MHz and 28GHz mmWave this year

T-Mobile U.S. announced plans to build out 5G in 30 cities this year and Nokia confirmed that its equipment has been selected for the rollout. T-Mobile will deploy its 5G RAN using both 600MHz and 28GHz millimeter wave spectrum.


Nokia will begin building the network during the second quarter of 2018, completing the deployment during 2020. Financial terms were not disclosed.

T-Mobile said New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Las Vegas will be first to get 5G. Service, of course, will require a 5G smartphone and these are expected to launch early in 2019.

Nokia listed the following elements in T-Mobile's deployment:

  • Nokia AirScale baseband and remote radio heads supporting 5G NR, and ReefShark-enabled portfolio in the 600MHz and 28GHz mmWave spectrums. The Nokia 5G-ready AirScale radio access portfolio, which is software upgradable to full 5G services will provide enhanced RAN support for 4G and 5G T-Mobile subscribers
  • Nokia installed Core technologies will be enhanced to support 5G, implementing a cloud-native architecture, powered by the Nokia AirFrame data center solution, Subscriber Data Management, CloudBand and Cloud Packet Core
  • Nokia Mobile Anyhaul framework to enable ultra-broadband connectivity
  • Nokia Digital Experience and Monetization solutions will support 5G device management and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) solutions
  • Nokia CloudBand Management and Orchestration (MANO) software suite will automate cloud application deployment and lifecycle management
  • Nokia NetAct virtualized network management software provides capabilities for troubleshooting, assurance, administration, software management and configuration, and managing the smooth evolution to 5G
  • Nokia Global Services expertise, including automation to speed the rollout and analytics to help optimize network performance

T-Mobile also took the launch announcement as a chance to poke fun at its rivals.

“Dumb and Dumber are in a meaningless race to be first. Their so-called 5G isn’t mobile, and it’s not even on a smartphone. It’s a puck?! You gotta be pucking kidding me!” said John Legere, president and CEO at T-Mobile. “While the Duopoly focus on bragging rights, we focus on customers. T-Mobile has massively bigger plans for a truly transformative 5G experience on your smartphone nationwide. We’re playing the long game ... the only game that matters.”

Nokia's President and Chief Executive Officer Rajeev Suri said: "We are excited to work with T-Mobile for their groundbreaking nationwide 5G rollout. Nokia's 5G solution combines our high-capacity New Radio, Core and SDN controlled 'anyhaul' transport and software, and incorporates innovations such as the new in-house silicon ReefShark chipset to deliver a new level of network performance. 5G is happening now, and no company is better placed to deliver than Nokia."

Nokia's ReefShark silicon cuts massive MIMO antenna size and power consumption

Nokia unveiled its ReefShark 5G chipsets for radio frequency (RF) units such as the radio used in antennas. The chipsets, which were developed in-house, significantly improve radio performance resulting in halving the size of massive MIMO antennas. Nokia says its ReefShark chipsets also reduce power consumption in baseband units by 64%, compared to current technology.

The ReefShark chipsets comprise:

  • ReefShark Digital Front End for LTE and 5G radio systems supporting massive MIMO
  • ReefShark RFIC front-end module and transceiver: massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna solution
  • ReefShark Baseband Processor: All-in-one compute heavy design, capable of supporting the massive scale requirements of 5G. This is the brain power of baseband processing.

The ReefShark chipsets for compute capacity are delivered as plug-in units for the commercially available Nokia AirScale baseband module. The new plug-in units triple throughput from 28 Gbps today to up to 84 Gbps per module. Additionally, AirScale baseband module chaining supports base station throughputs of up to 6 terabits per second. Nokia said this level of performance will allow operators to meet the huge growing densification demands and support the massive enhanced mobile broadband needs of people and devices in megacities.
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