Nokia Tests 5G Calls In France, Acquires SpaceTime Insight

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Nokia bolsters IoT portfolio with SpaceTime purchase, and teams up with SFR to test 5G in France

Nokia has teamed with French mobile operator SFR to conduct 5G new radio calls using 3.5 GHz frequency band.

The development is regarded as key in preparing SFR for the widespread 5G implementation in France.

And it comes as the Finnish company expands its IoT portfolio for vertical markets with purchase of American B2B supplier SpaceTime Insight.

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5G test

Nokia described the successful completion of over-the-air 5G call at Nokia Paris-Saclay campus in France as a “major milestone.”

‌The test involved the use of 3GPP-compliant 5G New Radio (NR) system over-the-air on the 3.5GHz frequency band.

Essentially, the 5G call used Nokia 5G NR technology, which utilised the Nokia 5G-ready AirScale radio platform and Cloud RAN technology together with 3GPP-compliant end user test devices. A cloud infrastructure based on the Nokia AirFrame Datacentre solution was apparently built to support Cloud RAN.

The 5G New Radio NR standard, agreed by the 3GPP in December 2017, is designed to support a wide variety of 5G applications and enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) services.

Deutsche Telekom likewise used the 5G New Radio (5G NR) standard for mobile 5G when it switched on on 5G mobile data in Berlin this week.

“Nokia is pleased to support SFR in accelerating its implementation of 5G and developing new business models that will enrich the user experience,” said Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia.

“By testing 5G technologies now, we can place SFR ahead of the needs of its data-hungry customers while preparing the operator for the launch of next-generation services,” he said.

“SFR is developing a roadmap for the evolution of its networks that takes into account the benefits and complexity of implementing 5G,” added François Vincent, head of Mobile Network at SFR. “The joint projects and trials will enable us to meet future data demand in the most effective way, while exploring new ways to deliver our media content that will increase the subscriber experience.”

IoT Purchase

Meanwhile the Finnish company has also been busy on other fronts, as it expanded its IoT portfolio for vertical markets with purchase of SpaceTime Insight.

The purchase, for an undisclosed amount, will give Nokia access to SpaceTime Insight’s IoT and machine learning-powered analytics technologies, and will permit Nokia to expand its IoT applications in key vertical markets such as energy, logistics, transportation and utilities.

San Mateo, California, SpaceTime Insight also has offices in Canada, UK, India and Japan, and its solutions are used by vast B2B companies such as FedEx, NextEra Energy, Singapore Power and Union Pacific Railroad.

Apparently, its machine learning models and other advanced analytics, are “designed specifically for asset-intensive industries, predict asset health with a high degree of accuracy and optimise related operations.”

This allows these firms to reduce cost and risk, increase operational efficiencies, and reduce service outages etc.

“Adding SpaceTime to Nokia Software is a strong step forward in our strategy, and will help us deliver a new class of intelligent solutions to meet the demands of an increasingly interconnected world,” explained Bhaskar Gorti, president of Nokia Software.

It is reported that SpaceTime and its CEO Rob Schilling will join Nokia’s IoT product unit within the Nokia Software business group.

There is no word on any possible job losses as of yet.

“Today marks a transformational moment for SpaceTime, and I’m delighted to join forces with one of the world’s top organisations – a global brand that is reshaping the future of networking and intelligent software,” said SpaceTime CEO Rob Schilling.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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