Nokia, the mobile network vendor, has announced its new ReefShark chipset to help operators upgrade their network to support 5G. The new chipset triples the capacity to 84Gbps, up from the top speed of current chipsets, which is 28Gbps. Nokia will begin shipping ReefShark chipsets in the third quarter of this year, and they will be available as plug-in units for AirScale baseband module. Nokia also mentioned that AirScale can easily be upgraded to support 5G with a software update.
Network operators can boost baseband unit’s throughput by using ReefShark. Operators can also use multiple AirScale modules that can support throughputs of up to six terabits per second. According to Nokia, 30 operators are already using ReefShark, and further deployments are expected in the third quarter when the chipset starts shipping.
Nokia’s ReefShark chipset is based on 3GPP 5G New Radio (5G NR) standard. First specification for 5G NR was cleared by 3GPP in December 2017, which also cleared the path for vendors to build compatible equipment.
According to Nokia, the ReefShark chipset includes support for massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (mMIMO) antennas, along with radio and baseband. While the chipset halves the size of these antennas, it also uses 85 percent less energy. The new technology will help reduce antenna heights between 1m and 2.6m, to about 45cm.
What’s more, ReefShark chipsets will also be using machine learning to virtually slice networks for separate protocols. This will help to ensure faster and reliable connection.