Count another carrier among those that 5G startup Phazr is working with. C Spire confirmed to FierceWirelessTech that it plans to conduct a 5G R&D test with Phazr at its corporate offices next week.
Phazr filed an application with the FCC for Special Temporary Authority to test and demonstrate 5G millimeter wave communication equipment in Ridgeland, Mississippi, which is where C Spire is headquartered. Earlier this month, Verizon filed for similar permission to conduct tests of Phazr equipment at facilities in Euless, Texas.
C Spire expects to test speeds as it transmits HD video content from its fiber-based commercial television service, according to Dave Miller, C Spire senior media relations manager. It’s part of the company’s ongoing efforts to bring the benefits of next-generation 5G and fixed wireless technology to consumers and businesses in its region, “all with the goal of helping solve a huge economic problem—how to efficiently and cost-effectively deploy fiber-based services in rural and underserved areas, which comprise the majority of our service area.”
The regional carrier is no stranger to 5G. Last year, the company said it was ramping up its efforts to develop and test emerging 5G fixed and mobile technologies. The company was the first to successfully demonstrate a 5G fixed wireless solution in Mississippi using Nokia equipment with a direct connection to its fiber-based commercial television service. Nokia supplied the base station and mobile unit.
That test delivered C Spire Fiber consumer television content, including ultrahigh-definition resolution video, with speeds up to 2.2 Gigabits per second (Gbps) and ultralow latency below 1.4 milliseconds over the 5G wireless link.
Phazr, founded by millimeter wave technology pioneers, says it has a differentiated approach when it comes to 5G millimeter wave. While everyone else is trying to do millimeter wave in the downlink and the uplink, Phazr uses millimeter wave for the downlink and sub-6 GHz for the uplink, which eliminates the need for a power-hungry millimeter wave transmitter in 5G devices, thus reducing cost and power consumption.
Phazr founder and CEO Farooq Khan left his position as president of Samsung Research America last year to work full-time on Phazr, which in a relatively short time has developed a 5G network solution that should be ready for commercialization in the second half of this year.
Phazr’s approach includes patent-pending beamforming technologies and a router that can be user-installed inside a building that includes a 5G millimeter wave modem and built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi for instant gigabit/second internet access.