Nokia is making a final push to advance existing LTE infrastructure before 5G hits its stride. The company recently announced its AirScale massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) adaptive antenna, which will help power its 4.9G network technology, and its AirScale Micro Remote Radio Head, which will deliver 4.5G Pro capabilities.

The company originally announced its 4.9G technology, and 4.5G Pro, back in September 2016. These technologies will work to meet the needs of businesses and consumers as they wait for 5G, according to a Nokia press release.

“Nokia introduced 4.5G Pro and 4.9G last year to allow operators to implement network capacity increases where and when it made sense for them,” Frank Weyerich, head of mobile networks products at Nokia, said in the press release. “Now we are delivering features that will maximize their resources, speed deployment times and cut power and costs especially in the most densely populated locations.”

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The new AirScale massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna uses beamforming to provide a signal more directly to individual devices and, as noted by ZDNet’s Jo Best, it will eventually be a part of the 5G standard. According to the release, the use of beamforming tech will lead to an eightfold improvement in uplink and a fivefold improvement in downlink on the network.

Nokia’s 4.9G will provide network capacity improvements, reduce latency, increase the number of aggregated carriers, and boost speeds. According to Nokia’s original press release, it will also “utilize cloud-based networks with intelligence added to the edge in order to reduce latencies to less than 10msec.”

The 4.5G Pro technology is geared toward network operators, with the aim of helping them add density to their networks and utilize unlicensed spectrum, the release noted. The new technology is expected to be especially useful as major cities continue to grow and expand, causing new strain on network infrastructure.

“We are making 4.5G Pro a commercial reality now and working with customers to innovate with solutions to their network densification and evolution challenges in 4.9G and beyond,” Weyerich said in the release.

Back in 2016, when Nokia first announced the technologies, 451 Research analyst Ken Rehbehn noted in a press release that these advancements could lead to new business innovations and revenue opportunities.

“Nokia’s move to infuse these capabilities into operator networks is important because advanced LTE functionality remains a vital factor for high performance mobile connectivity even after 5G takes root,” Rehbehn said in the release.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Nokia recently announced new AirScale technologies to help deliver its 4.9G and 4.5G Pro network technologies.
  2. Nokia said it believes that 4.5 G Pro and 4.9G will help bridge the gap between current network capabilities and the upcoming 5G standard, helping businesses improve their offerings.
  3. The advancements announced by Nokia could help businesses innovate faster, and solve some of the network issues in major cities.