Nokia 5G Kit 3 Months Behind Schedule in South Korea – Report

Nokia's 5G shipments to South Korean operators are three months behind schedule and are experiencing interoperability problems, according to a local news site.

The Finnish vendor has struggled to keep up with the early demand in the market, the world's first to switch on commercial 5G, and is shipping just a fraction of the volume of rival Samsung.

First deliveries of its 5G gear to each of the three operators, KT, SK Telecom and LG U+, arrived earlier this month, Business Korea reported.

But Nokia's kit has displayed "some problems" in interoperability testing and in carrying heavy traffic loads, exacerbating the deployment difficulties of the three operators, who have each chosen to roll out with multiple vendors.

Because of the delay, KT is replacing some of the scheduled Nokia equipment with Samsung Electronics gear in the Jeolla and Gangwon provinces. One other operator, LG U+, is considering a similar approach.

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According to Business Korea, Nokia has shipped between 1,000 to 4,000 units of 5G gear so far, compared to the 30,000 to 40,000 units shipped by Samsung.

In an emailed statement to Light Reading, Nokia doesn't deny the delays.

"Nokia is actively delivering our 5G equipment to operators in Korea and we are confident that we will fulfil the 5G equipment needs of all customers," the statement said.

"We have already started delivering 5G units to customers in Korea and are increasing our 5G production capabilities."

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— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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iainmorris 4/22/2019 | 5:35:40 AM
Correction The original version of this story suggested that SKT was also considering the replacement of Nokia kit. SKT has been in touch to indicate that is not the case, so we have updated the story accordingly.
ajwdct1 4/20/2019 | 11:06:34 AM
Re: That's too be expected from Nokia- too many cooks in the kitchen Again, 3GPP produces specs not standards & they say that on their website: "The 3GPP Technical Specifications (TS) and Technical Reports (TR) have, in themselves, no legal standing. They only become "official" when transposed into corresponding publications of the Organizational Partner (or the national / regional standards body acting as publisher for the Partner)."  https://www.3gpp.org/specifications/63-official-publications


3GPP is 1 of 5 entities that have submitted IMT 2020 RIT proposals to ITU-R WP5D with their final submission due this summer, but likely to be delayed due to Release 16 delay by at least 3 months.  Read the true story & comments below the post :http://techblog.comsoc.org/2018/07/08/busting-a-myth-3gpp-roadmap-to-true5g-att-standards-based-5g-inn-austin-tx/




Clifton K Morris 4/20/2019 | 12:11:03 AM
Re: That's too be expected from Nokia- too many cooks in the kitchen Thanks for the information. I had no idea IMT was in the process of fork-ing their own 5G standard when 3GPP has 5G plastered on their website. To your knowledge, are the standards compatible and/or planned to be recognized by NIST?
ajwdct1 4/18/2019 | 7:46:50 PM
That's too be expected from Nokia- too many cooks in the kitchen If you recall, Nokia is a combo of Nokia-Siemens, Alcatel and Lucent- all of which were working on their own 5G implementations for years.  That despite the ITU-R IMT 2020 RIT standard won't be completed till Nov 2020 but more likely the early part of 2021.

The first phase of 5G-NR deployed in 2019 usesa Non-Standalone architecture (NSA) that couples the LTE with 5G-NR radio layers.  LTE is used for the control plane/signaling, Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and net management.  Also, the 5G-NR is based on 3GPP Release 15 which has no provisions for ultra high reliability/ultra low latency as so many misinformed pundits claim it does!

The Nokia solution for 5G-NR NSA is a 'new' overlay that supposedly requires minimal support from an incumbent LTE base station vendor. This solution uses a layer of Nokia LTE (in current 700 MHz, 1800 MHz or 2100 MHz bands, for example) that can be deployed simultaneously and seamlessly alongside a new mid-band 5G-NR carrier. This layer provides the anchor point for the 4G coverage network and ensures that the benefits of NSA architectures can be realized by new 5G-enabled mobile devices, without compromising the user experience of legacy 4G/LTE devices.


Evidently, Nokia's solution has taken longer to be deployed than expected, possibly because of interoperability with other LTE network equipment vendors.

All of this is very short term, because all the 5G-NR NSA implementations will be completely replaced by the IMT 2020 standard version of 5G which will facilitate ultra low latency, ultra high reliability, 5G signaling/control plane and a 5G packet core.  That will all be standardized by ITU-R WP5D--- NOT 3GPP which will have an IMT 2020 RIT final submission this summer or fall.  The software aspects of IMT 2020, like virtualization and network slicing will come from ITU-T as I've written about extensively for the IEEE Techblog:  techblog.comsoc.org




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