Verizon conducts 5G calling trial with Nokia and Qualcomm

Verizon has trialled over-the-air calls on a 3GPP-compliant 5G New Radio, becoming the first operator to demonstrate the technology, it claims.

The US operator partnered with Nokia and Qualcomm to test calls using millimetre wave spectrum, a key milestone in the development of 5G, which it plans to launch by the end of the year.

The test, which was conducted this month at Nokia’s New Jersey test facility, used the Finnish vendor’s 5G network technology on a prototype device that was supplied by Qualcomm to make a test call.

“With this first 3GPP NR standards-based connection, Verizon continues to lead the development of 5G technology,” said Ed Chan, senior vice president and chief technology architect, Corporate Network & Technology, Verizon. 

“By partnering with Nokia and Qualcomm to combine 5G technology with our deep millimeter wave spectrum, we’re well on the way to being the first to usher in the next era of wireless communications for customers.”

Verizon will launch its residential 5G technology in up to five markets this year, and is locked in a race with rival AT&T to become the first US operator to deploy the fifth generation of mobile technology.

The test was carried out over Nokia’s CloudRAN solution and ran on 3GPP-compliant software. The 3GPP approved the first 5G NR standard in December.

“Nokia’s 3GPP-compliant high-capacity 5G solution supports pioneering operators like Verizon in leveraging their assets to make a true difference with 5G for their customers,” said Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks, Nokia. 

“Using the successful interoperability testing we conducted with Qualcomm as a basis, we’re now applying our standard-compliant 5G technology in this trial with Verizon to push the commercialization of 5G.”

Qualcomm developed a 5G NR millimetre wave prototype device which for the trial. It can support calls and includes an optimised millimetre wave RF front-end design in smartphone form factor, Verizon said.

“Qualcomm Technologies is committed to supporting the launch of standard-based commercial 5G networks and products beginning in 2019,” said Joe Glynn, vice president of business development, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. 

“The successful completion of standard-compliant 5G NR millimeter wave testing with leading mobile industry innovators such as Nokia and Verizon prove that we are well on the path to making this a reality.”

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