Australia’s NBN Co has announced achieving what it claims is a world record for long-range 5G transmission using mmWave, as part of its efforts to develop new options to further optimise the performance of its fixed-wireless infrastructure.
In live testing at a proof of concept site near Mortlake, Victoria, NBN Co and its technology partners – Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies and Casa Systems – reportedly achieved a stable 5G mmWave transmission of close to 1Gbps at a distance of 7.3km, double the distance recorded at the site just three months earlier. According to the operator the field measurements will provide development guidance for wireless technology suppliers, while also helping NBN Co understand the most cost-effective, and spectrum-efficient ways to integrate 5G into its evolving network architecture.
NBN Co is exploring 5G technology operating in mmWave spectrum as part of its commitment to enhancing customer experience and evolving its fixed-wireless network for future needs. At present, the operator’s infrastructure currently covers more than 620,000 premises across regional and rural Australia, with more than 90% of customers currently within 7.3km of a fixed-wireless cell.
Commenting on the development, NBN Co’s Chief Technology Officer, Ray Owen, said: ‘This is a significant achievement for [NBN Co] and our technology partners, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies and Casa Systems, we anticipate strong interest from the global technology community as we further develop these capabilities. With industry development for mmWave largely focussed on high-density urban environments, this trial helps prove the case for additional work to suit the unique requirements of the nbn Fixed Wireless network and other regional and rural use-cases around the world.’