Verizon is the first network provider to conduct an over-the-air call on a 3GPP-compliant 5G New Radio (NR) system using licensed spectrum, according to company release. The successful test using Verizon’s millimeter wave spectrum used Nokia's 5G network technology on a 5G NR prototype device provided by Qualcomm Technologies Inc., an important milestone on the road to preparing Verizon’s network for widespread implementation of commercial 5G mobile services. The test was conducted at Nokia’s facility in Murray Hill, New Jersey and follows interoperability testing between Nokia and Qualcomm.

The test used Nokia’s CloudRAN solution, comprised of the Nokia AirScale baseband and radio, AirFrame server and AirScale Cloud RAN running 5G NR 3GPP-compliant software. Qualcomm provided a millimeter wave 5G NR prototype with an optimized millimeter wave front-end design in a smartphone form factor.

Verizon plans to deploy 5G fixed wireless access using millimeter wave spectrum, beginning in Sacramento, California during the second half of 2018. Verizon said as 5G continues to evolve and new use cases are developed, the operator is well-positioned to deliver commercially-viable services.

The 5G NR standard was approved by the 3GPP in December 2017.

Ed Chan, senior vice president and chief technology architect at Verizon, said, “With this first 3GPP NR standards-based connection, Verizon continues to lead the development of 5G technology. By partnering with Nokia and Qualcomm to combine 5G technology with our deep millimeter wave spectrum, we’re well on the way to being the first to usher in the next era of wireless communications for customers.”