Blog post image

9th Sep 2017


5G Fixed Wireless Access trial is live central London

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, a British telecoms infrastructure company, Arqiva, have started their 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) field trial with Samsung in central London. Their joint plans were announced earlier in the year and finally, the time has arrived!

The testing experiments with Samsung’s own 5G network solution and Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) in conjunction with Arqiva’s 28GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum.

Three main components of the setup are; Radio Access Unit (RAU) located on the rooftop of Arqiva’s Fitzrovia office – This wirelessly links to the second component, a CPE (essentially a WiFi router) which sits on a window ledge in another of Arqiva’s offices and lastly, Samsung’s virtualised core managed user connections and data routing from Arqiva’s network to the internet. 5G FWA is all about stability and this trial will hopefully prove its worth.

Fixed Wireless Access services have been available in 4G, however, it’s only with the addition of 5G base stations operating on high-frequency mmWave spectrum and utilising beam-forming technology that performance will reach a competitive level. Arqiva has reported establishing a stable two-way mmWave link with downlink speeds of around 1Gb per second. Just to give an idea of this level of performance, it would allow for the simultaneous streaming of more than 25 UHD 4K TV channels.

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.”