Nokia has today announce a software upgrade that will instantly migrate 5 million legacy 4G radio units to 5G.
Nokia says that this move is to aid the seamless transition for installed 4G/LTE radios to 5G and will avoid the need for twoer climbs enabling the immediate enablement of 5G.
The company says that this software update will provide immediate support for approximately one million radios and will reach 3.1 million by the end of the year and over 5 million in 2021.
“Nokia’s Flexi and AirScale portfolio shows it is ahead of the game by providing a software upgrade to transition over 5 million 4G radios to 5G. Efficient FDD spectrum refarming is critical for fast, broad and deep 5G deployments. With Nokia supplying the majority of the world’s top 4G operators, supporting key advanced features such as DSS helps those operators lead with 5G,” Chris Nicoll, Principal Analyst at ACG Research said.
Nokia estimates that this move will save the telecommunications industry potentially “tens of billions of euros” in site engineering and re-vist costs as communication service providers are able to upgrade their networks to 5G with software.
Telecommunication providers around the world are preparing their networks for the eventual deployment of 5G networks. Some are deploying the low band 5G networks which offer a small bump in performance compared to 4G. Others are deploying millimeter-wave 5G which is the widely advertised version that promises gigabit download speeds but its biggest problem is that it needs a lot of base stations near populations due to its short wavelength.
Nokia is one of the top network infrastructure companies in the world which includes the likes of Huawei and Ericsson. They supply 5G equipment to telcos like T-Mobile in the USA. Locally, Nokia was involved as one of the partners when Safaricom launched their first LTE-Advanced network back in 2014.