Qualcomm focused on extending mmWave range for fixed wireless access
Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies and U.S. Cellular said they have successfully achieved the first extended range 5G NR millimeter Wave (mmWave) data call in the U.S. on a commercial network.
The extended-range data call was completed in Janesville, Wisconsin, over a more than 5km distance with speeds exceeding 100Mbps. The milestone was achieved by applying extended-range software to commercial Ericsson hardware – including AIR 5121 and Baseband 6630 – and a 5G CPE device powered by the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System with the Qualcomm QTM527 mmWave antenna module.
The participating companies said that this achievement demonstrates that mmWave can help close the “connectivity divide” and expand broadband services throughout rural, suburban, and urban communities. This technology gives communications service providers a cost effective way to expand their coverage and deliver 5G experience to communities that previously were not serviced or may have lacked a reliable connection, the firms said.
This technology will also open the door for new use cases, which will bring 5G benefits to homes and business in urban and rural communities. For example, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) installations can provide a cost-effective way to deliver fiber-like internet speeds wirelessly over mmWave to institutions such as schools, hospitals and town halls.
FWA provides the bandwidth required to support high definition streaming services that can improve experiences like remote education and remote healthcare in suburban and rural environments, the companies added.
Mike Irizarry, CTO at U.S. Cellular, said: “This is a key strategic milestone in our 5G evolution. Expanding 5G mmWave coverage enables us to offer high-speed broadband services to consumers and businesses in rural areas and underserved communities and reinforces our commitment to technological leadership for rural America. It is a concrete example where U.S. Cellular is driving innovation leadership in extended range technology from Ericsson and promoting the high-power device ecosystem enabled by Qualcomm Technologies.”
“This major milestone of using mmWave for an extended-range 5G data transfer is paving the way to implement fixed broadband services for broad coverage in urban, suburban and rural environments. With the introduction of the Qualcomm QTM527 mmWave antenna module as part of the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System, we are empowering operators and OEMs to offer high-performance, extended-range multi-gigabit 5G broadband to their customers – which is both flexible and cost-effective, as they can leverage existing 5G network infrastructure,” said Alejandro Holcman, SVP, Engineering, Qualcomm Technologies.
In July, US Cellular revealed that it was working with Nokia to add 5G millimeter-wave capabilities in the 24 GHz and 28 GHz spectrum bands to its network. The carrier had also announced plans to expand its partnership with Ericsson, which will now provide the carrier with 24, 28 and 39 GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) equipment and services.
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