US Cellular seeks mmWave 5G range extension - Mobile World Live

US Cellular seeks mmWave 5G range extension

17 SEP 2020

US Cellular raised the prospect of a significant boost to rural 5G coverage from mmWave spectrum, following a trial with Ericsson and Qualcomm.

In testing conducted in Wisconsin using Ericsson hardware and a 5G CPE device based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem, the companies completed a 5G data call over a distance of more than 5kms (3.1 miles), with peak data rates exceeding 100Mb/s.

Though mmWave spectrum has delivered gigabit-range speeds in other operator trials, coverage was limited to several hundred metres.

US Cellular CTO Mike Irizarry hailed the demonstration as a “key strategic milestone in our 5G evolution”, predicting benefits for high-speed broadband service provision in rural and underserved communities.

The range achieved surpassed the 3.8kms Qualcomm and Ericsson hit in a test with Casa Systems in Australia in June, which they billed at the time as the “furthest ever” achieved.

US Cellular contracted Ericsson in July to help build a mmWave 5G network to supplement earlier low-band deployments. Irizarry previously told Mobile World Live the operator might be willing to trade peak data rates for extended range.



Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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