Communications infrastructure company Arqiva and Samsung Electronics have announced what they claim is the first field trial of 5G fixed-wireless access (FWA) technology in the UK and Europe, carried out in central London. A press release regarding the development notes that the trials are powered by Samsung’s 5G network solution and customer premises equipment (CPE), and uses Arqiva’s 28GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum.
According to the companies, the primary aim of the trial is to ‘demonstrate the stability of the FWA service, and its potential as a fast-to-market and cost-effective alternative to fibre for connectivity to homes and businesses’. It is claimed that the system has already established a stable two-way mmWave link with downlink speeds of around 1Gbps at the CPE, though as the trial progresses the duo have said they hope to further maximise performance capability.
Initially the trial, which will run for four months, is being conducted using a Radio Access Unit located on the rooftop of Arqiva’s Fitzrovia office, with this wirelessly linking to a router inside its nearby headquarters. Samsung’s system, which implements intelligent beam-forming technology and high-frequency mmWave spectrum, then provides high bandwidth connectivity. There are, however, plans to extend the trial’s coverage to additional nearby buildings over its duration, the companies confirmed.