Nokia, BT Group and Qualcomm achieve enhanced 5G SA downlink speeds in European first

Press Release

Nokia, BT Group and Qualcomm achieve enhanced 5G SA downlink speeds in European first 5G Carrier Aggregation with Five Component Carriers

BT Group becomes first European operator to achieve 5G 5CC carrier aggregation, boosting 5G standalone (SA) performance ahead of network launch later this year.
Combines three FDD and two TDD carriers with 150 MHz total bandwidth, delivering greater capacity and downlink speeds in areas of high demand.
Follows 5G SA downlink 4CC carrier aggregation breakthrough in 2022, and concurrent two carrier uplink aggregation in 2023.

5 July 2024. Espoo, Finland – Nokia and BT Group today announced that they have successfully aggregated 5G Standalone (SA) spectrum using 5CC Carrier Aggregation (5CC CA), making BT Group the first European operator to achieve this milestone. The achievement uses a device powered by a Snapdragon® 5G Modem-RF system from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a pioneer and global leader in 5G technology.

5CC CA will significantly boost the data rates available to customers in areas of high demand by combining all mid-band radio spectrum when the 5G SA device requires a high-speed connection. Set to launch later this year, EE’s 5G SA network will also have the capability to leverage a low frequency sixth carrier to provide a superior experience in more places, including indoors.

In 2023, BT Group and Nokia successfully demonstrated 4CC CA in 5G SA downlink with concurrent 2CC CA in 5G SA uplink. With today’s announcement, the companies reached the next milestone, achieving further performance uplift in connections from the device to the network by increasing throughput and capacity.

The tests were conducted in the field on live network spectrum at Adastral Park, BT Group’s headquarters for R&D, using Nokia’s 5G AirScale portfolio and a device powered by a Snapdragon® 5G Modem-RF system from Qualcomm Technologies. Downlink speeds of 1.85 Gbps were reached, using three FDD carriers NR2600 (30MHz), NR2100 (20MHz), NR1800 (20MHz) aggregated with two TDD carriers NR3600 (40+40MHz).

Greg McCall, Chief Networks Officer at BT Group, said: “This latest milestone achieved with Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies enhances 5G SA performance as we work towards the launch of our network, building further on the benefits of carrier aggregation in delivering greater throughput and speeds to customers. This is particularly important as more and more devices come to market with 5CC CA capabilities. We are focused on maximising our spectrum assets to deliver the very best experience to our customers with that in mind.”

Mark Atkinson, SVP and Head of RAN at Nokia, said: “This successful trial with our long-standing partner, BT is another great example of Nokia’s clear leadership in 5G carrier aggregation technology. Multi-component carrier aggregation helps mobile operators to maximize their radio network assets and provide the highest 5G data rates at more locations to subscribers.”

Dino Flore, Vice President, Technology, Qualcomm Europe, Inc. said: “Qualcomm Technologies is committed to pushing the boundaries of 5G connectivity, and our Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems are designed to unlock the full potential of 5G, delivering unparalleled speed, efficiency and capacity for networks and their users. We are proud to work with Nokia and BT Group to play a key role in bringing this enhanced 5G experience to European consumers.”

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