Finnish telecoms chief Nokia has released a software update that it says will allow its 4G / LTE radios to migrate seamlessly to 5G / NR. The update will be implemented with immediate effect on 1 million radios. It will be available for 3.1 million radios later this year and will reach 5 million by 2021.
“By updating existing radio elements through software, Nokia is helping to simplify the process of reconditioning the 4G / LTE spectrum to 5G / NR. The move will also support existing customers and the installed base by offering a transparent and cost-effective upgrade path to 5G / NR, “the company said in a statement.
Most 5G / NR implementations to date have been made with TDD cmWave and TDD mmWave. However, the next wave of 5G / NR releases will be delivered by redesigning existing FDD bands to 5G / NR, the company said.
According to Nokia, the ability to update 4G / LTE radios through the software update will significantly accelerate the deployment of 5G / NR FDD. It will also help operators avoid costly site visits that might otherwise delay 5G rollout in some regions. Nokia estimates that this solution will potentially save the global telecommunications industry “tens of billions of euros.” The company hopes that this, in turn, will assist in the rapid adoption of the new emerging technology.
Announcing the launch of the software, Tommi Uitto, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “This is an important solution because it will help our customers to quickly and efficiently upgrade their existing LTE radios so that they are 5G ready saving them time and money”.