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Effect Photonics, Rural Dorset roll out fixed wireless 5G access to rural UK

Fixed wireless access gains boost across hard-to-reach areas in rural Wales and Dorset, making 5G services available to homes in island of Anglesey

Mobile providers are upping their connectivity game, with two fixed wireless access (FWA) firms taking 5G connectivity to rural Wales and Dorset.

As part of the Welsh government’s efforts to ensure all residents have access to fast and reliable digital infrastructure, and in the company’s latest collaboration between itself and Vodafone, with whom it is already working together to bring 5G connectivity in the Netherlands, Effect Photonics is assisting with the roll-out of 5G FWA services in hard-to-reach areas in Wales. Led by Vodafone, the project seeks to deliver broadband connectivity to 422 households in Anglesey, an island off the northwest coast of Wales.

The project will be carried out over two phases during an 18-month period, and is supported by the UK government’s Local Broadband Fund (LBF), as well as the Isle of Anglesey County Council and North Wales Economic Ambition Board. In addition to Effect Photonics and Vodafone, Bangor University’s Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Centre for Excellence is a supplier along with others. Effect Photonics and Bangor University have also partnered on the Destini project, for the development of an algorithm which can be introduced into existing telecommunications networks to expedite 5G connectivity.

Based on Indium Phosphide technology, the Effect Photonics 10 Gbps Narrow Tunable SFP+ Transceiver Module leverages the company’s unique Photonics Integrated Circuit (PIC) technology. It features Effect Photonics NarroWave technology, which allows operators to set up, monitor and control remote SFP+ modules from the central office, without making any hardware or software changes in the field.

“Photonics technology is an ideal solution for fixed wireless access due to its ability to provide increased bandwidth density with less energy consumption over significant distances,” said Joost Verberk, director of product management at Effect Photonics. “We look forward to collaborating with the Welsh government, along with Vodafone and Bangor University once again, to bring 5G broadband access to areas where it never seemed possible before.”

Moving from North West Wales to the South West of England, The 5G Rural Dorset project has been awarded funding to conduct what it calls cutting edge research with the world’s leading wireless technology innovator.

5G RuralDorset is working with Qualcomm Technologies to investigate how next-generation connectivity can revolutionise agriculture, increase productivity and reduce environmental impact. The trials will test 26GHz spectrum and the latest microchips to transmit the huge amounts of data required to enable “per plant” farming that is made possible by autonomous vehicles and robots.Read more about 5G FWA

This latest funding from the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will see research move to Dorset Innovation Park, where the project is said to have the required facilities to test the very latest equipment with the potential to supercharge the rural economy and change global markets.

“Higher frequency spectrum expected to be released by Ofcom this year may be able to transmit large volumes of data quickly, transforming sectors including agriculture,” said 5G RuralDorset spectrum and security lead Dave Happy.

“Intelligent teams of robots which can spot weeds and destroy them naturally have the potential to increase yields by 200% and reduce the need for harmful herbicides and chemicals by up to 95%.”

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