Nokia, Ligado partner to develop 5G base station radios for L-Band

Nokia and Ligado Networks have announced an agreement for Nokia to develop 5G base station radios compatible with Ligado’s L-Band spectrum. This partnership will be the first in North America to develop a commercial L-Band offering to enable operators, service providers and enterprises to expand their 5G services.

As the new L-Band spectrum becomes available, Nokia is adding support for L-Band to its 5G portfolio which already includes C-Band and Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) solutions. 5G Standalone (SA) services are now poised for commercial build out in the U.S. with the increased availability of mid-band spectrum, which provides the right balance of coverage and capacity to support a robust 5G user experience.

This announcement builds on the prior 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Ligado band standardization support and collaboration between Nokia and Ligado which demonstrated the benefits of making new spectrum available to support next-generation 5G networks for a variety of industries including, energy, manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation. Within 3GPP, Ligado has successfully advanced band combinations for L-Band with C-Band, CBRS, and EBS/BRS to support increased access to the valuable spectrum.

Nokia’s commercial development of L-Band network equipment for Ligado will allow L-Band to support cost-efficient, broad-based and rapidly deployed 5G standalone solutions.

Maqbool Aliani, Chief Technology Officer at Ligado Networks, said: “Our partnership with an industry leader like Nokia is a significant milestone for our company and brings the deployment of L-Band spectrum in 5G mobile networks one step closer to reality. Nokia is a key partner in Ligado’s commercial efforts to develop the vendor ecosystem around this lower mid-band spectrum, and we look forward to advancing our collaboration activities to ready the L-Band for 5G network deployments.”

Mika Kahkola, Head of RF Platforms Management at Nokia, said: “The time is right for Nokia to join forces with Ligado to commercialize the L-Band. Together, we will help mobile operators and enterprises across the U.S. capitalize on the low-mid-band spectrum that hits the sweet spot for capacity and coverage and can accelerate 5G service.”