Arqiva claims Europe first with mmWave-powered 5G demo
26 July 2017 | James Pearce
UK-based infrastructure firm Arqiva has partnered with Samsung to launch what it claims is Europe’s first field trial of 5G Fixed Wireless Access technology.
The London trial saw Arqiva deploy Samsung’s 5G network solution and customer premises equipment (CPE) to transmit its 28GHz millimetre wave spectrum, achieving downlink speeds of around 1Gbps.
The test was carried out using a radio access unit placed on the top of Arqiva’s Fitzrovia office, linking to Samsung’s CPE which was located inside Arqiva’s headquarters 230 metres away. It used intelligent beam-forming technology technology and high-frequency mmWave spectrum in order to offer high bandwidth connectivity.
It also saw the deployment of Samsung’s virtualised core technology, which manages user connections and data routing from the 5G network to Arqiva’s data centre.
Paul Kyungwhoon Cheun, EVP and head of the next generation communications business team at Samsung, said: “One of the most exciting prospects that 5G is expected to bring to the table is the exploration of powerful new use cases outside of traditional smart device mobile connectivity.
“Our trial efforts with Arqiva give us the chance to demonstrate this first hand, and we view this demonstration as a door-opener for new and compelling connected service opportunities in the UK, Europe and worldwide.”
The primary aim of the trial, according to Arqiva, is to demonstrate the stability of the FWA service, as a fast-to-market and cost-effective alternative to fibre for connectivity to homes and businesses. Allowing for simultaneous streaming of more than 25 UHD 4K TV channels as an illustration, this more than meets the needs of today’s typical household with considerable room for future growth.
Recently, question have been asked about whether Europe is falling behind the rest of the world in the race to deploy 5G, but this test highlights some of the work being done by telcos to launch the service. FWA is expected to be one of the first use cases for wider 5G deployments.
Simon Beresford-Wylie, CEO of Arqiva, said: “This trial is the first of its kind in Europe, let alone the UK – and we are hugely excited about the high data rates, low latency and growth potential we’re going to be able to demonstrate. Though only a proof of concept at this stage, we are confident that this trial with Samsung will showcase not only 5G FWA’s potential for delivering ultrafast broadband but also the value of the 28GHz band in helping achieve this.
“We’ve seen a great level of response so far from our entire customer base, including leading mobile operators, fixed broadband providers, broadcasters and media companies. This trial will be particularly interesting for this audience as it looks to a future of ubiquitous UHD, and the file sizes that go with it.”