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Bell Canada and Nokia trial 5G using 73 GHz band

Canadian telecom operator Bell said the 5G technology trial with Nokia produced speeds six-times faster than current 4G technology

Canadian telecom operator Bell has jumped into the “5G” technology trial morass, announcing a successful demonstration with partner Nokia.
The demonstration, which was conducted at the carrier’s Wireless Innovation Center in Mississauga, Ontario, tapped into spectrum across the 73 GHz band in providing “sustained data speeds more than six-times faster than top 4G mobile speeds now available in Canada.” Bell Canada currently touts that its LTE-Advanced network produces downlink speeds of between 12 megabits per second and 100 Mbps.
Bell said it expects 5G technology to be “widely available” within the next five to seven years, with the technology providing faster network speeds and increased capacity to support broadcast video and the “internet of things.”
Bell, which has a nationwide network sharing arrangement with Telus, expanded its mobile focus earlier this year announcing plans to acquire Canadian regional carrier Manitoba Telecom Services for 3.9 billion Canadian dollars ($3 billion). As part of the deal, Bell said it would sell one-third of MTS’ postpaid customer base and assign one-third of MTS dealers to Telus for an undisclosed sum.
A number of U.S.-based carriers also have begun trialing 5G technology, including Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US and Sprint. Similar to Bell, Sprint has worked with network partners on using the 73 GHz band in support of the trials.
Canadian telecom regulator Industry Canada has so far not made any moves in terms of specifying certain spectrum resources in support of 5G services. The Federal Communications Commission last month moved forward on its Spectrum Frontiers initiatives in a move to specify spectrum for 5G, including 3.85 gigahertz for licensed use in the 64-71 GHz bands and 7 gigahertz for unlicensed – or “flexible” – use across the 28 GHz, 37 GHz and 39 GHz bands.
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