Samsung touts 5G FWA equipment, gets FCC seal

Samsung Networks sign
Samsung developed ASIC-based 5G modems and mmWave RFICs in-house for its access units and CPEs. (FierceWireless)

Samsung finally unveiled its end-to-end commercial solution for 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) at Mobile World Congress and has announced that its 5G mmWave equipment has received regulatory approval from the FCC.

Samsung said it has worked closely with the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology to demonstrate the equipment’s abilities and ensure regulatory approval. “These are the first 5G millimeter-wave products in the world to secure government regulatory approval,” the company said in a statement.

The end-to-end solution, which Samsung first announced in 2017, include artificial intelligence-powered 3D radio frequency planning tools, 5G virtualized RAN and commercial CPEs, including indoor and outdoor 5G home routers. Samsung developed ASIC-based 5G modems and mmWave RFICs in-house for its access units and CPEs.

The FCC approval of its mmWave equipment will make 5G a reality, said Youngky Kim, who serves as president and head of networks business at Samsung Electronics. “Since the beginning of our 5G research in 2012, Samsung stood firm among industry players to trust in the potentials of the millimeter wave spectrum. Our efforts towards advancing this technology will see the light this year.”

Earlier this year, Samsung confirmed it will supply hardware for Verizon’s first 5G FWA deployment in Sacramento, California, which is slated for commercial availability the second half of 2018.

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The products have been used in field trials in 2017 across multiple markets, Samsung said, including California, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, and Washington, D.C. Samsung and Verizon officials have said the trials went better than expected. Samsung claims it can deliver service in partial line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight connections—long considered one of the weak spots of fixed wireless service—and that adverse weather conditions did not interrupt service.

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The FWA deployment is Verizon’s first step in offering 5G to consumers. In an earlier announcement, Verizon said it would use Ericsson’s core network, radio access network, and transport services for its mobile 5G service. Verizon plans to begin precommercial deployments of mobile 5G networks in the second half of the year.