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Nokia announced the deployment of Australia’s first Interleaved Passive Active Antenna (IPAA) in collaboration with Optus. Together, Nokia and Optus deployed the first IPAA in Yeerongpilly, Brisbane. The solution helps ease site related challenges which accelerates the introduction of 5G services across the country.

As operators look to rollout 5G, finding space on existing towers and rooftops for new massive MIMO active antenna equipment poses a significant deployment challenge for operators. Long delays in acquiring permission for site upgrades; the potential strengthening of the supporting structures and potential higher rental payments to landlords, can in combination seriously delay operators, such as Optus, in getting 5G services to their customers.

Nokia’s IPAA solution was developed in collaboration with CommScope. It will allow Optus and other operators to upgrade existing sites to 5G by simply replacing their existing antennas with a similar sized unit that supports all legacy technologies as well as 5G massive MIMO active antenna, all in a single compact solution. By utilizing this solution, Optus can overcome many deployment challenges that can typically hinder the introduction of 5G.

Lambo Kanagaratnam, Managing Director of Networks at Optus, said: “We’re committed to keeping our customers connected and at the forefront of 5G. By partnering with global technology leaders like Nokia, we continue to bring the best global innovations to our customers. The introduction of the IPAA into our network infrastructure will help us speed up the deployment of our 5G network by addressing space and structural capacity constraints.”

Rob Joyce, Chief Technology Officer of Australia and New Zealand at Nokia, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Optus to bring our unique IPAA solution into play in the Australian market. The IPAA is an advanced technical solution to tackle the problems of finding space on towers and rooftops for 5G upgrades. Operators can now simply replace an existing antenna with Nokia’s IPAA solution to upgrade the site and at the same time, introduce 5G; it couldn’t be simpler.”

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