Nokia, Qualcomm and UScellular claimed a world record after transmitting data over a distance of more than 10 kilometres (kms) on a live mmWave network, potentially addressing a key stumbling block for the spectrum.
The companies reported average downlink speeds of approximately 1Gb/s during trials in the 28GHz band across multiple locations on UScellular’s network in the city of Grand Island, Nebraska.
During one line-of-sight test, the trio transmitted data 11.14 kms at a rate of 748Mb/s in the downlink and 56.78Mb/s up.
Extending the range of mmWave will enable UScellular and other operators to use the high frequency spectrum for fixed wireless access (FWA), the companies said. FWA is of interest to US operators which want to use the technology to deliver broadband internet to underserved rural areas.
Tommi Uitto, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia (pictured), said the tests show how distances can be extended for 5G mmWave “without sacrificing speed or latency”.
The tests were conducted using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G modem-RF system and QTM527 mmWave antenna module, along with Nokia’s AirScale baseband and mmWave radios.
UScellular recently announced an agreement to add 5G capabilities to its network in the 24GHz and 28GHz spectrum bands using Nokia’s AirScale portfolio.
Last month, Nokia’s rival Ericsson was part of a trial with UScellular that claimed to have extended 5G fixed wireless coverage range to 7 kilometres on UScellular’s commercial network in Wisconsin. At the time Ericsson said the connection sustained average downlink speeds of roughly 1Gb/s, average uplink speeds of about 55Mb/s and instantaneous peak downlink speeds above 2Gb/s.