Nokia is reportedly going forward with a network equipment and standard strategy centered around what is being dubbed 4.9G, meant to serve dutifully alongside 5G for the long haul in much the same way that HSPA networks have served alongside LTE. Nokia’s 4.9G network solutions that are in testing currently far outpace other networks, reaching multi-gigabit speeds and boasting significant theoretical improvements in capacity, latency, and range. Nokia’s flavor of 4.9G is based upon revision 14 of the existing 5G standard, which is unlikely to see a final revision and formal definition as a standard until 2020 or so. Not wanting to wait that long, Nokia took to the showroom floor at the recent CTIA Super Mobility Week trade show to let everybody know that they are indeed pursuing advancement of this standard, and to officially name it LTE Advanced Pro 2. Nokia has promised to demo the new standard at the upcoming Mobile World Congress, and the technology is supposed to go live by the end of the year.
LTE Advanced Pro 2 reportedly uses most of the hallmarks of the upcoming 5G standard, though Nokia was not entirely specific about how the new standard works, to achieve multiple gigabit speeds and latency as low as 10 milliseconds on LTE networks. According to Nokia’s Phil Twist, the standard will show operators how to wring more long-term service from their existing LTE networks as they march on toward the rollout of 5G. This, of course, means that existing devices, or devices coming out in the near future, may actually have a shot at supporting this standard.
4.5G networks using principles introduced in earlier revisions are already in the works, and will presumably be leaping into action in the near future. Nokia’s 4.9G technology, on the other hand, won’t be going live until the end of this year at the earliest, and will take some time for carriers and manufacturers to implement. Nokia stated that they will be working with Sprint for their MWC demo of 4.9G technology, which will show off the 3D beamforming advancements and massive-scaled MIMO technology that will serve as the basis for a commercial implementation of LTE Advanced Pro 2.