TIM, Ericsson, Qualcomm achieve 1 Gbps on 5G mmWave fixed wireless access

For TIM, the demonstration paves the way for it to provide customers with 5G FWA, especially in areas not yet covered by fiber. (Qualcomm)

Italy’s Telecom Italia (TIM), Ericsson and Qualcomm worked together to use 5G technology on a fixed wireless access (FWA) deployment to get a speed of 1 Gbps with UDP protocol and 700 Mbps with TCP protocol (according to an Ookla speedtest). The demonstration took place in Rome on 26 GHz millimeter wave spectrum at a distance of 6.5 kilometers between the 5G mmWave device and the base station.

The demonstration, tested on a live network, used an Ericsson 5G mmWave high power antenna-integrated radio, equipped with Ericsson software. The partners also used Casa Systems’ new AurusAI, a 5G mmWave customer premise equipment (CPE) equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System.

The companies say the demonstration confirms the usability of mmWave spectrum, not only for urban, high-density mobile deployments, but also for 5G FWA coverage.

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For TIM, the demonstration paves the way for it to provide customers with 5G FWA, especially in areas not yet covered by fiber.

The partners plan to conduct a similar test in the rural town of Front, Italy, where they’ve equipped a 5G mmWave site with a high-capacity radio link connection to allow selected users to try out the 5G FWA setup.

TIM also plans to identify industrial districts where business customers will be able to try the new technology. 

RELATED: FWA: Boom or bust for U.S. wireless carriers?

In the United States, FWA has been picking up steam. Verizon and T-Mobile are promoting FWA for both LTE and 5G. The technology holds a lot of promise for closing the digital divide, a topic that has become ever more pressing in 2020, due to the pandemic and the need for nationwide broadband coverage.

TIM, Qualcomm and Ericsson have worked together before. In January they conducted a 5G mobile test on TIM’s 26 GHz mmWave spectrum, where they achieved more than 2 Gbps. This test was not related to FWA. In that demonstration TIM used an Askey CPE powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 5G Modem-RF System.