UK broadband provider to use fixed 5G in rural Yorkshire
Broadband company Quickline Communications is to use 5G-based fixed wireless access (FWA) to expand its rural coverage.
The company (pictured) will use a cloud-based open radio access network (open RAN) solution with a shared access spectrum licence.
Quickline CTO Ian Smith said the firm, based on the edge of Hull, in the English county of Yorkshire, can now quickly bring high speed connectivity to rural communities.
“This is a UK first,” he said. “As a result of being involved in the UK 5G testbed programme, we have developed and commercialised a 5G standalone, cloud-native open RAN network which utilises the N77 spectrum band as part of Ofcom’s shared access spectrum licence.”
Quickline is working with Mavenir, a cloud-native network software company, in what it claims to be the first internet service provider in the UK to offer a commercial 5G standalone FWA service. The company has now switched on its first mast.
It has been part of a £6 million project to boost rural connectivity in North Yorkshire as part of the Mobile Access North Yorkshire (MANY) consortium, which successfully bid for the UK government’s co-ordinated 5G testbeds and trials programme.
Mavenir is providing an end-to-end solution that is built with cloud-native principles and software-centric design, enabling faster time to market and a lower total cost of ownership, said Quickline.
Mavenir CMO Stefano Cantarelli said: “The availability of adequate broadband in rural regions is a challenge and we are pleased to see Quickline’s drive and initiative to provide high quality and reliable mobile broadband connectivity.”
Quickline has appointed operations director Mark Seward as director of its fixed wireless access operations. Seward used to work at Kcom, the incumbent operator for Hull and its neighbourhood that is now owned by Macquarie.
“This is a fantastic achievement for Quickline, bringing all technology partners together to create a network delivering a true cloud-native 5G SA Open RAN solution,” he said. “It also brings superfast connectivity to our rural communities, bridging the gap between cities and rural villages.”