Telia Completes Field Trial in Upper 6 GHz Spectrum With Massive MIMO Radio

Field tests confirmed the macro-grid readiness of the upper 6 GHz spectrum used with Massive MIMO. It showed that massive capacity can be added in urban areas, where there is a higher demand for TDD broadband, and high throughput can be achieved in suburban or rural areas.

Highlights

  • Telia and Nokia partner to pilot upper 6 GHz spectrum for future network evolution.
  • Utilisation of Nokia's AirScale Habrok radio and Massive MIMO technology.
  • Sustainable deployment strategies for faster and environmentally friendly expansion.

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Telia Completes Field Trial in Upper 6 GHz Spectrum With Massive MIMO Radio
Telia has completed a field pilot in the upper 6 GHz spectrum band range with Nokia in an effort to bolster capacity and coverage at existing macro cell sites in dense urban environments for future 5G-Advanced and 6G networks. The trial, which utilised Nokia's AirScale Habrok radio and Massive MIMO antenna, showcased the potential for network evolution when 5G-Advanced and 6G networks become available, the official release said.

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Utilising Upper 6 GHz Spectrum

Nokia said with increasing traffic growth and demand for mobile broadband, operators are seeking ways to keep pace and deliver capacity and coverage where needed. New 5G-Advanced and 6G use cases will only add to this demand. Recognising this, the allocation of the upper 6 GHz spectrum for mobile services has gained traction following agreements at the World Radio Conference 2023.

During the trial, Nokia used a 128TRX Massive MIMO radio based on its AirScale Habrok platform and a test terminal from MediaTek with integrated antennas. The pilot examined whether the uplink coverage on the new, higher frequency is compatible with the existing inter-site distances. The companies tested the upper part of the band (n104) and used a 3.5 GHz massive MIMO cell of the same RF bandwidth across various distances to replicate different real-world scenarios.

Also Read: Telia Expands Helsinki Data Center to Meet Rising AI Demand

Macro-Grid Readiness and Capacity Expansion

Field tests confirmed the macro-grid readiness of the upper 6 GHz spectrum used with Massive MIMO. It showed that massive capacity can be added in urban areas, where there is a higher demand for TDD broadband, and high throughput can be achieved in suburban or rural areas. This offers operators an evolution path to 5G-Advanced and 6G, in the future, the technology partners said in a joint statement.

Sustainable Deployment

Telia said, "As our customers generate increasing amounts of mobile traffic, it is essential to have further access to mid-band TDD spectrum to enhance digitalisation in our markets and serve our customers appropriately. This field test with our partner, Nokia, is an important step in demonstrating how this can be done sustainably, as it would be possible to use our existing site grid. In this way, deployment would be faster and have a lesser environmental impact, creating fewer carbon emissions than the alternative of adding capacity by building more new sites."

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