Nokia has used MWC in Barcelona as an opportunity to introduce a gamut of 5G offerings, including one to help build out its existing partnership with Australian telco Optus.

The Finnish multinational and Optus will launch 50 live 5G sites by March 2019 for selected residential customers in Australia, with five locations already live. This will see Optus become the first operator globally to deploy Nokia’s FastMile 5G indoor gateway in a live network.

According to Nokia, the technology will allow Optus to achieve twice the indoor coverage, three times the downlink capacity and five times the uplink capacity compared to traditional gateways on its 3.5 GHz 60 MHz band, which means users will be able to simultaneously stream multiple 4K video services.

Nokia President and CEO said 2019 will be the year of 5G for the company.

“We are rearkably well-positioned with more than 20 5G contracts, and almost 100 5G engagements with customers in every region of the world,” he said.

“We also believe that there will be a virtuous circle of investment as networks are upgraded to meet the demands of 5G and Nokia has the right portfolio at the right time to meet that need.”

Nokia has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Korea Telecom (KT) to trial various 5G technologies, including service automation, network virtualisation and slicing, that will be used to help develop new applications for connected vehicles and the Internet of Things use cases. Trials are planned to take place in Seoul later this year.

5G trials are also taking place in India. Indian-based telco giant Bharti Airtel announced it will trial Nokia’s homogenous fronthaul solution to help support its 4G, 5G and enterprise services.

In a move to further ramp up its 5G portfolio, Nokia has introduced two new additions to its AirScale small cells portfolio – a millimetre wave radio and a 5G pico remote radio head – to extend the 5G performance indoor and outdoor, respectively.