Arqiva and Samsung kick off the UK’s first 5G fixed wireless access trial

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Arqiva and Samsung’s new 5G trail has started in London and hopes to showcase the growth potential of the technology, as well as investigating if it can be an alternative to fibre.

Arqiva and Samsung are working together on a new trial of 5G fixed wireless that has now gone live in central London. 

The project is powered through the phone manufacturer’s 5G network solution and customer premises equipment in partnership with the Arqiva’s 28GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum. 

The 5G FWA system is made up of three main components: A radio access unit from Arqiva, Samsung’s beam-forming technology and high-frequency mmWave spectrum and, finally, the tech giant’s virtualised core. 

It is hoped that the trial will show off the stability of the FWA service and how it can potentially operate as a fast-to-market and cost-effective alternative to fibre for homes and businesses. 

With a link distance of several hundred metres, the system has introduced an effective two-way mmWave link with downlink speeds of roughly 1GB per second. This technology enables simultaneous streaming of over 25 UHD 4k TV channels, meeting the average data needs of UK households. 

Paul Kyungwhoon Cheun, executive vice president and head of the Next Generation Communications Business Team at Samsung, said: “One of the most exciting prospects that 5G is expected to bring to the table is the exploration of powerful new use cases outside of traditional smart device mobile connectivity.

“Our trial efforts with Arqiva give us the chance to demonstrate this first hand, and we view this demonstration as a door-opener for new and compelling connected service opportunities in the UK, Europe and worldwide.”

Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive of Arqiva, said the trial is the first of its kind in Europe, and should demonstrate the strong growth potential of the technology.

The showcase is comprised of a series of six stations, looking at areas such as FWA technology, 5G case studies, 4K UHD and Virtual Reality (VR) content streaming. 

The trial will run for four months, with visitors from the UK government and media companies expected to track its progress. 

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