BT, Nokia demo new network capabilities
August 25, 2023
BT and Nokia have announced the successful uplink aggregation of two carrier components in a 5G Standalone (SA) live network spectrum.
Demand for faster uplink speeds is growing in importance for a number of both existing and emerging use-cases, including live-streaming and video calls. Carrier aggregation is an important technique for ensuring reliability and high performance as demand and data usage continue to increase. Further benefits include the maximisation of spectrum assets and greater energy efficiency.
5G Carrier Aggregation over a 5G SA network, which combines several transmission bands into one connection, is a key capability to deliver the high-performance 5G service that customers expect. Every new carrier added allows for higher capacity and speed directly to customer devices.
Last year, BT and Nokia announced 5G SA 4CC CA downlink. Now, by achieving both 5G SA 2CC CA uplink and 4CC CA downlink simultaneously, BT can deliver significant uplift in connections performance from the device to the network by increasing throughput and capacity, as well as unlocking scope to push uplink performance further in the future.
The tests were conducted at BT Group’s facility in Adastral Park, UK, using Nokia’s 5G AirScale portfolio and a device powered by a Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF System from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., following initial lab-based trials. Speeds of over 230 Mbps in the uplink were reached — including the wider 5G FDD carrier at 40 MHz in 2600 MHz — as well as over 1 Gbps in the downlink. The demonstration was conducted with 15, 30 and 40 MHz NR2600 carrier independently aggregated with a 40 MHz NR3500 carrier component.
Greg McCall, Chief Networks Officer, BT Group, commented: “Carrier aggregation will be key to delivering the very best 5G experience to our customers, with this latest trial in partnership with Nokia demonstrating significant performance increases in terms of uplink speeds. This builds on last year’s success of achieving 4CA in 5G SA downlink, and we look forward to achieving further milestones in this space as we continue to progress towards 5G SA.”
Mark Atkinson, SVP, Radio Access Networks PLM at Nokia, said: “This successful trial with our long-standing partner BT, is another great example of Nokia’s unrivalled leadership in 5G carrier aggregation technology. Multi-component carrier aggregation helps mobile operators to maximise their radio network assets and provide the highest 5G data rates to subscribers in more locations.”
Enrico Salvatori, Senior Vice President and President, Qualcomm Europe/MEA, Qualcomm Europe, added: “We are proud of our continued collaboration with BT to bring our latest 5G technologies to consumers. 2CC uplink carrier aggregation is expected to improve uplink speeds by up to 2X, to give a better user experience overall. Consumers would potentially be able to upload and share higher quality videos faster online, such as when attending concerts and when watching and streaming games online. We look forward to the future and what else is to come with our continued collaboration with BT.