Innovate5G Achieves Breakthrough by Completing First Successful Commercial North American Call on Mid-band 5G Standalone Network


Leveraging Nokia and Athonet Infrastructure, Innovate5G Proves Success of its Lab Testing Environment for Enterprise Apps on 5G Networks

Richardson (TX), 31st August 2021 – RICHARDSON, Texas Innovate5G has completed a successful mid-band call on a 5G standalone (SA) network in collaboration with Nokia and Athonet. The  successful call means enterprises designing for 5G can now test their applications in an actual 5G environment to better understand performance, security, and network resource usage.

Innovate5G made the call in Frequency Range 1 (FR1) on Broadband Radio Service (BRS) n41 using Nokia’s AirScale Next Generation Radio Access Network (NG-RAN) and Athonet’s 5G SA Core Network. The call solidifies the lab’s support for mid-band 5G SA, allowing Innovate5G to test and prove 5G applications, whether they be from other 5G economies using mid-band, U.S.-based enterprise applications optimized for 5G, or native 5G applications like mixed and virtual reality (XR). Existing in the 5G mid-band at 2.5 MHz, n41 is the same time division duplex (TDD) frequency used by many universities and the Department of Defense.

“To put this accomplishment into perspective, a developer designing for 5G would literally have to drive around to try to latch on to a 5G network to test their application, and even then, they’re still not going to have any meaningful/definitive information about performance,” said Rashmi Varma, chief technology officer of Innovate5G. “In addition, the networks they may find are still migrating from 4G and are not yet pure 5G networks. This call means we can now provide 5G access to developers wanting to test in the actual environment, while also providing the metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to help understand metrics like round-trip time and latency.”  

Earlier this summer, Innovate5G launched its In5Genius platform to provide developers cloud-based access to an environment for testing and certifying their 5G applications in 5G, allowing for a new level of access and flexibility. The platform, a cloud lab, gives assurance of capability at launch and supports the journey for developers to improve their apps.  

“This multiple vendor collaboration opens the ‘go to market’ journey, helping developers understand things like jitter, delays and video quality when it comes to their 5G applications,” added Ed Alfonso, EVP and GM of Mobile Networks for Nokia Americas. “If you build it and want to know how it works, we have created the place to come test your 5G mid-band applications with this first commercially available TDD radio integration in SA 5G leveraging Nokia’s RAN infrastructure.”  

Since Innovate5G’s slice capable lab allows developers to log in remotely, it has remained accessible as other labs have shuttered due to COVID. Most consumers think of 5G in terms of one of the carrier networks, which are still migrating, but enterprise applications on SA networks present a significant enterprise opportunity. Private enterprise networks like those for healthcare, transportation, and industry 4.0 are ideal for 5G given its high-frequency bandwidths, and stand to benefit greatly from the enhanced technology and spectrum.  

This test call validates Innovate5G’s vision to provide a pathway forward to 5G,” continued Gianluca Verin, chief technology officer of Athonet. “Our 5G mobile core is built for business-critical applications to connect a multitude of devices and sensors, allowing developers to put their ideas into action and leverage the incredible potential of 5G. This collaboration with Innovate5G and Nokia makes it possible for anyone to gain access.

The In5Genius platform has already facilitated testing for health and wellness and Internet of Things (IoT) industries, aggregating KPIs like performance, compatibility, efficiency, reliability, and adaptability. This insight means apps can be designed to what the network offers. Housed in Richardson’s Innovation Quarter (IQ), Innovate5G’s actual lab where the call was completed, can be accessed anywhere in the world for 5G testing of over-the-top (OTT) applications being adapted for 5G and other native 5G applications.  

“The Richardson IQ is a living laboratory for big ideas and groundbreaking technology, and Innovate5G is a prime example of the success that stems from our collaborative, forward-thinking community,” added Doug McDonald, strategic initiatives manager for the City of Richardson. “The IQ® fosters and supports the work of entrepreneurs like Innovate5G, allowing them to thrive and achieve the initiatives like this multi-vendor call. We’re honored to be home to this pioneering event and the future innovation it will facilitate.”  


About Innovate5G
Innovate5G enables application-centric networks with a focus on the business outcome and helps clients optimize products for 5th generation wireless environments. Founded in 2019, innovate5G’s mission is to open up the 5G ecosystem beyond traditional players and eliminate barriers for developers to test their ideas and products. innovate5G operates a cloud-based platform that tests, certifies, and integrates 5G applications. More information is available at

About Nokia
At Nokia, we create technology that helps the world act together. As a trusted partner for critical networks, we are committed to innovation and technology leadership across mobile, fixed and cloud networks. We create value with intellectual property and long-term research, led by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs. Adhering to the highest standards of integrity and security, we help build the capabilities needed for a more productive, sustainable and inclusive world.

About the Richardson Innovation Quarter
The Richardson Innovation Quarter, also known simply as Richardson IQ® or The IQ®, is a 1,200-acre urban hub in Richardson, Texas, with a rich heritage of innovation and entrepreneurship. As Texas’ premier tech hub, The IQ® is the City of Richardson’s living laboratory for big ideas and groundbreaking technology. The IQ® today is home to technology-related start-ups, corporate research and development, manufacturers, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, restaurants, entrepreneurs, designers, researchers, inventors, educators and students. With over 19,000 workers and more than 1,000 businesses, The IQ spurs the creativity and collaboration that drives innovation and growth. For more information, visit