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What comes after 4.5G? If you said 5G, then you're wrong – at least, according to Nokia's plans.

Alongside the unveiling of its 4.5G Pro technology, Nokia on Thursday introduced the concept of 4.9G, a new next step in the network evolution to 5G.

"While the ever-connected world of people and IoT drives huge data demands, the speeds enabled by 5G will be a colossal step in operators' network evolution. However, with our 4.5G, 4.5G Pro and 4.9G technologies, we will provide a smooth evolution path that will allow them to increase capacity and improve the user experience while creating new revenue opportunities," Nokia President of Mobile Networks Samih Elhage said.

According to Nokia, its new 4.5G Pro technology builds on Nokia's existing 4.5G setup to offer “major increases in LTE capacity, coverage and speed where and when they are needed.”

The company said its 4.5G technology already offers up to four carrier aggregation, advanced radio modulation techniques and network-based Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity. Nokia said 4.5G Pro will support speeds up to ten times those of original 4G networks, allowing operators to deliver gigabit peak data rates. Its 4.5G Pro offering also extends carrier aggregation capabilities across up to five frequency bands, Nokia said.

The 4.5G Pro solution will be available to customers in the fourth quarter of this year, the company said.

But Nokia said it will also offer another incremental step toward 5G in the form of its forthcoming 4.9G technology.

Nokia said 4.9G will further increase capacity and boost speeds up to several gigabits per second. The technology will also allow for still more carriers to be aggregated, open the door to access more licensed and unlicensed spectrum and enable the use of highly directional antennas. New spectrum capabilities will include support for Band 43 and Band 42, as well as modifications for 3.5 GHz band in the U.S.

The 4.9G technology will also allow signals sent from multiple transmit and receive paths to be added together and utilize cloud-based networks with edge intelligence to reduce latencies to less than 10 milliseconds, Nokia said.

Nokia did not provide a launch date for its 4.9G technology.

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