Nokia, Qualcomm to collaborate on mobile 5G NR

Qualcomm Technologies and Nokia plan to conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials based on the 5G New Radio (NR) Release 15 specifications being developed by 3GPP.

If all goes as planned, the testing and trials will lead to commercial network launches in 2019 based on 3GPP standard compliant 5G NR infrastructure and devices.

With a lot of attention focused on fixed wireless, Qualcomm has been a big believer in 5G for mobility applications, according to Matt Branda, technical marketing director at Qualcomm.

Qualcomm has already shared a lot of testing and trial data for fixed wireless, but the real challenge from a design perspective comes in making it work in a mobile environment or use case, so as you might expect, that’s where engineering minds gravitate.

Qualcomm and Nokia plan to collaborate to achieve multi-gigabit per second data rates at latencies as low as 1 millisecond and significantly better reliability than today’s network, among other things. Such technologies will be critical in meeting the connectivity requirements for consumer mobile broadband experiences such as streaming high-fidelity video, immersive virtual/augmented reality and connected cloud computing, the companies say.

“It’s all about interoperability” and progressing toward the field trials, Branda said.

The testing and trials will use Nokia’s 5G First solution, incorporating the Nokia AirScale base station transmitting over the 5G NR radio interface to the device prototype from Qualcomm. The companies will test end-to-end applications over the air between the base station and the device to simulate real-world scenarios across a broad set of 5G NR use cases and deployment scenarios.

Tests will include operation in sub-6 GHz spectrum bands such as 3.5 GHz and 4.5 GHz, as well as millimeter wave bands such as 28 GHz and 39 GHz.

The companies will be showcasing advanced 3GPP 5G NR technologies including Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology, beamforming techniques, adaptive self-contained TDD, scalable OFDM-based waveforms to support wider bandwidths, advanced coding and modulation schemes and a new flexible, low-latency slot structure based design, according to a press release

The companies recently collaborated on a whitepaper, Making 5G a reality: Addressing the strong mobile broadband demand in 2019 & beyond (PDF), that details their shared vision for how 5G NR technologies will address the increasing mobile broadband needs and beyond starting in 2019.

Qualcomm is also conducting 5G NR tests or trials with ZTE and Ericsson, in addition to SK Telecom, AT&T, Telstra, DoCoMo, Vodafone and China Mobile.