UK’s first 5G fixed wireless trial

10 April 2017

Arqiva and Samsung Electronics are working in partnership to develop what they say is the first field trial of 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) technology in the UK.

Set to take place in the second half of 2017, the trial will involve the deployment of an end-to-end 5G FWA network operating in the 28GHz band.

Arqiva owns the national licence for this spectrum which is also the standard band being used for 5G trials in the USA, Japan and South Korea.

Samsung’s 5G base stations will use high-frequency mmWave spectrum and technologies such as beamforming to provide high-density coverage and ultra-high-bandwidth connectivity to customer premise equipment installed in nearby locations.

The partners say these can be self-installed, therefore limiting costs, and can bring a subscriber online in a matter of minutes.

They also claim this gives 5G FWA considerable advantages over comparable FTTH or FTTB deployments in terms of service rollout times and the costs to both the service provider and the subscriber.

The equipment will be based at locations in central London, including Arqiva’s offices at Percy Street, and will provide ultra-high speed connectivity to multiple devices. The locations will be selected based on the wide range of customer groupings in business and residential premises.

Arqiva CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie says the trial will demonstrate the “enormous potential” of 5G FWA as an alternative to fibre for delivering ultra-high speed connectivity to homes and businesses.

He adds: “Our experience of running critical communications networks places us in a strong position, alongside a number of our operator customers, to take the lead in shaping how this country prepares itself for the introduction of 5G.