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Nokia and Taiwan Mobile (TWM) announced that it has achieved the world’s first New Radio Carrier Aggregation (NR CA) by combining spectrum in the 700MHz (n28) and 3500MHz (n78) bands. The trial, which took place in a 5G standalone (SA) network environment, paves the way for TWM to deliver market-leading 5G experiences to its customers with enhanced connectivity and capacity. Carrier Aggregation combines frequency bands for higher rates and increased coverage, delivering superior network capacity and maximizing the spectral efficiency of 5G networks. 

The successful trial was performed with Nokia’s AirScale 5G SA architecture in TWM’s commercial 5G network and combined two spectrum bands, frequency division duplex (FDD) in 700MHz (n28) and time division duplex (TDD) in 3500MHz (n78), which are widely adopted in 5G networks worldwide. FDD is a lower frequency band that provides wide coverage area improving cell edge performance; TDD has a higher bandwidth and capacity. The combination of these spectrum bands offers enhanced capacity and coverage supporting a range of 5G deployment scenarios, including indoor and enhanced outdoor coverage. MediaTek Inc. supported the trial by providing equipment to verify network performance. 

Nokia is TWM’s sole 5G equipment supplier covering 5G RAN, 5G Core and 5G IMS including its latest AirScale Radio Access products. Nokia is a long-standing partner of TWM and is supporting the company in its efforts to execute its ‘Super 5G strategy’ which is focused on sustainability and digital transformation. 

Tom Koh, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Technology Group, Taiwan Mobile, commented: “This trial is an important milestone as we execute our 5G strategy and deliver best-in-class 5G services to our subscribers. Combining SA with NR CA, our 5G user experience is raised to the next level while the utilization of our spectrum assets and 5G networks are maximized. We are pleased with our partnership with Nokia as we continue to advance deployment and build a thriving 5G ecosystem.”

Mark Atkinson, SVP, Radio Access Networks PLM at Nokia, said: “We are delighted to have completed this successful trial with our trusted partner, Taiwan Mobile. Aggregating spectrum is an efficient way to enable enhanced coverage and capacity. This successful trial highlights how mobile operators with similar spectrum allocation can achieve similar results.”

JS Pan, General Manager of Wireless System Design and Partnership at MediaTek, said: “MediaTek continues to collaborate with ecosystem partners to accelerate the development of global 5G markets. Our joint effort with Nokia and Taiwan Mobile has led to this breakthrough in commercial 5G Standalone network capabilities that will facilitate better services.”