T-Mobile recently deployed a 5G commercial radio system in suburban Seattle in partnership with Nokia and Intel — the carrier’s first inter-vendor 5G network.
The companies said in a statement Wednesday that the outdoor field test, conducted in downtown Bellevue, Wash., utilized a 28 GHz radio on Nokia’s AirScale system and Intel’s 5G mobile trial platform.
Officials said the trial marks a first step toward moving 5G from laboratory settings to the field and would bolster 5G mmWave radio performance. T-Mobile and Nokia will also gain insights about how mmWave-based 5G would work with existing networks and LTE.
The announcement came less than a week after T-Mobile CEO John Legere vowed that the company would “leapfrog” Verizon and AT&T to deploy a nationwide mobile 5G network in 2020.
“We’re laser-focused on building a nationwide 5G network for mobility, one that uses multiple spectrum bands, and launching field trials for mmWave spectrum is an important step forward,” T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in a statement.
Nokia, meanwhile, lauded the evolution of T-Mobile’s network and said it is “proud to be a key partner on this journey.” The Finnish telecom giant plans to demonstrate 5G on its AirScale platform at next month’s Mobile World Congress.
“The path to 5G is paved with tremendous endeavor and innovative milestones such as our achievement with T-Mobile in Bellevue,” said Ricky Corker, who heads Nokia’s North American operations.