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Samsung will trial 5G broadband as alternative to fibre

Manny Pham
February 24, 2017

5G fixed wireless connections could be an alternative to wired fibre offerings

Samsung will partner with Arqiva to develop the first field trial of 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology in the UK, as an alternative to fixed line broadband.

5G FWA connections can potentially overtake fibre broadband connections and boasts many benefits, including faster set up times and cost savings.

The trial will take place in the second half of 2017 in central London and will see the deployment of an end-to-end 5G FWA network operating in the 28GHz band.UK telecommunications firm Arquiva owns the national licence for this band, its also the standard band used for 5G trials in the USA, Japan and South Korea.

Samsung 5G Access Units will use high-frequency mmWave (millimeter wave) spectrum and advanced technologies such as beam-forming, to connect to customer premise equipment (CPEs) receivers, which provides customers the 5G connection.

The CPE receivers are self-installed which limits costs and is capable of bringing subscribers online within minutes. Setting up fibre to the home/building can take days.

CPEs will be based at locations in London and will provide ultra-high speed 5G connectivity to multiple devices. Locations will be selected based on wide range of customer groupings in business and residential premises.

Crucial pillar 

Samsung head of networks Europe Thomas Riedel said: “There is so much opportunity in the region due to the diversity of markets and services already in place here, and we think the UK is a prime candidate to show off the benefits that 5G can bring to consumers.”

Arquiva CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie added: “5G will be a crucial pillar of the UK’s economy in the 2020s. Our existing network of infrastructure assets, including mobile masts and street furniture, will be essential to providing the network over which 5G will be delivered by MNOs across the UK. Our trial with Samsung will demonstrate the enormous potential of 5G FWA as an alternative to fibre for delivering ultra-high speed connectivity to homes and businesses.”

One billion pounds into 5G

The government announced one billion pounds will be invested into 5G and fibre broadband in November’s Autumn Statement last year. Culture secretary Karen Bradley stated the importance of industry in the push of 5G. She said:”The Government wants the UK to be a world leader in 5G and we’re already laying the foundations for a successful launch. We are investing one billion pounds to boost the UK’s digital infrastructure and support 5G trials, and will shortly be publishing our 5G strategy.

“But industry will continue to play the leading role, and investments like Arqiva’s will help make sure the UK gets the benefits of new 5G networks early on, including faster, more reliable connections,  new services like connected cars and the Internet of Things.”


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