Mobile World Congress: New Radio standard triggers early 5G launch

The mobile industry’s decision at the end of 2017 to agree on millimetre-wave frequency bands for 5G has provided the trigger for an acceleration in 5G network development

MWC – Fira Gran Via entrance at Barcelona

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, mobile operators said the ratification of the 5G New Radio (NR) standards will mean they can aim for a rollout of commercial 5G services early in 2019.

According to networks supplier Nokia, commercial 5G roll-outs may start later this year in the US and China.

And South Korea and Japan are not expected to be far behind wit 5G roll-outs.

Nokia will supply 5G network infrastructure to T-Mobile for the operator’s planned nationwide 5G multi-band network in the US.

Chinese networks giant Huawei also sees a ramping of 5G network development globally and its says it is involved in pre-commercial development with more than 30 network operators.

In December 2017, release 15 of the 3GPP standard was announced which defines the 5G NR standards.

Although the 3GPP 5G NR standard defines the use of frequency bands up to 52.6GHz, early deployments will be focused on the sub-6GHz spectrum, which has the advantage of offering services with frequencies close to 4G LTE, such as mobility and wide area coverage, where 5G is expected to play a key role until around 2020.

Support for this Sub-6 GHz standard is expected to be the first step for vendors of 5G devices.


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