Faroese Telecom, Ericsson set European 5G mmWave downlink speed record

Telco serving self-governing North Atlantic Ocean archipelago reveals details of 5G mmWave text aggregating 800MHz of 5G mmWave spectrum in n258 and 40 MHz of 4G FDD spectrum to achieve downlink speed of 5.9Gbps and upload speed of 1.6Gbps

Faroese Telecom Group has worked with tech firm Ericsson in a live mmWave network speed test showing record download peak speeds of up to 6Gbps.

In the North Atlantic Ocean, the self-governing Faroe Islands is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. The archipelago covers an area of 1,400 square kilometres of land, 300,000 square kilometres of sea, and has a population of 54,000. Its 18 islands are mostly connected by bridges, subsea tunnels and ferries.

Faroese Telecom is the incumbent operator on the Faroe Islands and provides products and services for mobile, broadband, fixed line, subsea cables and TV. It has delivered telecommunications to the Faroese people for more than 117 years, and the company said they have been “the heartbeat” of its business, adding that in a constantly evolving world, customer demands change, and so the firm tries its utmost to satisfy customer demands through continuous development and improvement.

In addition to providing traditional telco products and services, Faroese Telecom said its main objective is to be a driving force for growth.

Since deploying 5G across the Faroe Islands since 2022, the service provider’s radio access network (RAN) has been built out in the quest for full geographic coverage in terms of total landmass – in addition to sea coverage reaching 120 km in all directions. 

The test and the 5G non-standalone data speeds were achieved using the commercial mobile network of Faroese Telecom in an indoor deployment using Ericsson’s AIR 5322 and Baseband 6648. By aggregating 800MHz of 5G mmWave spectrum in n258 and 40 MHz of 4G frequency division duplex spectrum, a downlink speed of 5.9Gbps was measured by the smartphone when using 256QAM modulation.

Moreover, an upload speed of 1.6Gbps was registered by aggregating several carriers in the uplink (UL) and selecting a time division complex pattern optimised for UL traffic.

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The download speed is said to be the fastest measured speed in a live network in Europe to date. This multi-gigabit mmWave technology will be deployed across all of the self-governing nation’s 18 islands, delivering high capacity and multi-gigabit, mobile broadband speeds in suburban and rural areas.

“Our ambition is to have giga speed everywhere on the islands – in cities as well as in small villages, on roads, in tunnels, on mountaintops and even out to sea,” said Faroese Telecom Group CEO Jan Ziskasen.

“Digital inclusion is a main pillar in our sustainability agenda, thus reaching every centimetre and every person located on our 18 islands is paramount. This will bring unprecedented services to our consumers and businesses where world-class 5G gives key infrastructure for developing products and services paving the way for the future.”

Ericsson has been the telco’s sole provider of 5G RAN and 5G Core, including full modernisation of the existing 4G network, since 2021, and believes that Faroese Telecom is showing the world how 5G can be deployed on a wide scale during a limited period of time.

“Rocky volcanic islands and rapidly changing weather is not stopping either them or us from bringing the latest 5G technology to the North Atlantic Sea,” said Niclas Backlund, country manager of Ericsson Denmark. “I am truly looking forward to continuing to partner with Faroese Telecom with the ambition of building a world-class 5G network, with more industry firsts.”

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