With a little help from the Finnish network, Elisa…

5G is now rolling out globally, but we have yet to see the new mobile data standard get anywhere near its true potential. In the UK, 5G coverage is patchy at best, limited to major cities and conurbations.

However, in Finland, Qualcomm, Nokia, and Elisa – a Finnish phone network – are making major progress. During a recent test, the collaborative effort managed to achieve speeds of 8 Gbps for the first time on a mobile phone.

This new milestone for 5G speeds was achieved using Qualcomm 5G modems, Nokia’s 5G mmWave technology, and Elisa’s commercial 5G network, opening up the possibility for INSANE mobile data speeds in the not too distant future.

“This is an important development and another step in our efforts to bring the fastest speeds and best 5G experiences to our customers. Elisa was the first in Finland and amongst the first in the world to deploy 5G. Reaching 8Gbps is a natural step in our 5G development and we want to explore the possibilities 5G offers and push the technology further to benefit our customers,” said Sami Komulainen, Executive Vice President, Production at Elisa.

The test, which is just that for now, showed that higher speeds are possible with our current standard of technology. The base station in the test used two Nokia AirScale radios, each using 800 MHz of commercial millimeter wave 5G spectrum at 26 GHz, the phones ran on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System featuring second-generation Qualcomm QTM525 mmWave antenna modules.

How Fast is 8 Gbps Anyway?

It’s VERY fast. With that kind of connection, all kinds of new applications become a possibility on mobile devices – from downloading 4K content and Triple-A games in a matter of seconds to running immersive AR/VR experiences in the highest possible resolution with zero lag. But 8 Gbps is just the beginning, as 5G progresses speeds of up to 10 Gbps could become a reality for many inside the next couple of years.

“We are incredibly proud of this collaboration on this landmark event, which represents a significant milestone for 5G mmWave. Qualcomm Technologies’ research and development efforts to drive the next generation of wireless connectivity, along with our work with Elisa and Nokia, has made this milestone a commercial reality. The throughputs achieved today show the true potential for mmWave deployments and we are excited to continue collaborating with industry leaders to make 5G mmWave a commercial reality,” said Enrico Salvatori, Senior Vice President and President, Qualcomm Europe/MEA.

Will you be able to get 8 Gbps on the Elisa network now? No, this was a test – a means to see what was possible. Deploying these speeds on a national (and international scale) will require updates to current telecoms infrastructure. But work on this has now been underway for months, so it shouldn’t be too long before 5G starts delivering on its potential.

Either way, 2021 and 2022 are going to be BIG years for 5G. Expect to hear more about these types of tests in the UK, US, and elsewhere in the coming weeks and months.

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