Just weeks after pushing the limits of 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) by demonstrating sustained average downlink speeds of about 1 Gbps and peak speeds of more than 2 Gbps in its live network at a distance of 7 kilometers, US Cellular has achieved a new record in partnership with Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies. In a trial conducted on the carrier’s commercial network in Grand Island, Nebraska, the three companies achieved an extended range connection over 5G mmWave of more than 10 kilometers, after testing multiple locations and scenarios and measuring distance, throughput and latency.
“These latest trial results reinforce the important role that fast, reliable wireless service plays in keeping people connected no matter where they live or work,” commented Mike Irizarry, executive vice president and CTO at US Cellular. “With 5G mmWave technology from companies like Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies, we can provide our customers with the leading-edge capabilities of high performance, ultra-low latency 5G and offer an even wider range of communications services to enhance their wireless experience.”
The trial utilized Nokia’s AirScale Baseband and mmWave Radios in the 28 GHz (n261) band and Qualcomm’s Fixed Wireless Access Platform gen 1, which the company said enables mobile operators address connectivity gaps in under and unserved communities.
Fixed Wireless Access, or FWA, is a method of providing wireless connectivity to homes and businesses through radio links between two fixed points without the need for fiber and cables for last mile connectivity. Laying and maintaining fiber can be prohibitively expensive in many circumstances, such as rural and suburban environments, making FWA, which can still deliver ultra-high-speed broadband, an attractive option.
In addition to the approximately 10 km distance achieved by the trials, the companies also recorded an average downlink speeds of about 1 Gbps, and uplink speeds reaching approximately 57 Mbps.
According to Tommi Uitto, president of mobile networks at Nokia, the results “demonstrate what 5G mmWave will bring to consumers, enterprises and industries,” adding that extending the reach of 5G mmWave technology without giving up its speed or latency, “will deliver an incredible 5G experience to even more areas.”