As the 5G momentum grows, infrastructure vendors Nokia and Ericsson are jockeying for leadership by racking up as many 5G operator deals as possible. But with no formal 5G standard expected for at least a few years, these vendors are forced to tout 5G collaborations and trials, not actual deployments.
Case in point, Ericsson said it is working with Orange on 5G use cases based on Orange’s network and Ericsson’s 5G technology, including software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV).
The use cases include delivering wireless multi-gigabit Internet service to suburban and rural areas; Internet of Things (IoT) test cases; ultra mobile broadband coverage; and connected cars.
Nokia, meanwhile, is collaborating with Australian operator Optus on 5G and IoT. The 5G trial will use the 3.5 GHz spectrum and will include a 5G radio test bed to demonstrate virtual reality video content as well as low-latency networking that can be used for industrial IoT use cases.
Nokia also is building its equipment arsenal with the acquisition of Eta Devices, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup that makes power amplifiers for base stations, access points, and devices. Although Nokia is positioning it as an important step toward 4.9G and 5G, the deal will help today’s base stations be more energy efficient by reducing heat waste.
Essentially Eta Devices’ power management technology can adjust energy usage depending upon what is needed for a radio signal. By improving power management, an operator can reduce backup power and deploy smaller base station cabinets.
Nokia said the acquisition of Eta will help it meet its goal of reducing site energy consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 70 percent.