Nokia claims 5G fixed wireless access distance record

Finnish comms tech provider reveals test showing world-record download speed for 5G fixed wireless access that paves the way for cost-effective, extended-range, high-quality internet connectivity

One of the increasingly important use cases for 5G has been fixed wireless access (FWA), with its exponents eyeing up huge possibilities in effectively connecting communities traditionally ignored by fibre providers, and as part of its drive to address this gap, Nokia has revealed it has achieved sustained average downlink speeds of more than 2 Gigabits per second (Gbps) using millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum and FWA over a distance of 10.86km.

What is being described as a milestone download speed, the fastest recorded worldwide to date, was accomplished using Nokia’s 5G extended range mmWave offering at the OuluZone test facility in Oulu, Finland.

The test was based on Nokia’s AirScale baseband, AirScale 24GHz (n258 band) mmWave radio and Nokia FastMile 5G PoC customer premises equipment (CPE). Testing involved eight component carriers (8CC) in the downlink, aggregating 800MHz of mmWave spectrum. This enabled a top downlink speed of 2.1 Gbps, and an uplink speed of 57.2 Mbps.

Nokia noted that the new achievement, which builds on what was a previous world record it set in 2021, demonstrates the reach and connectivity speeds that 5G mmWave can deliver. It also paves the way to bringing cost-effective, extended-range, high-quality internet connectivity services via FWA to areas where wired connections are not always possible.

The tech firm’s mmWave radio portfolio comprises compact, high- and medium-power services, offering a wide range of deployment options that provide flexibility in ensuring service continuity across a wide variety of environments.

The Nokia FastMile 5G PoC device used in these tests is currently being trialed by major operators globally, and high speeds over significant distances can be achieved with its high-gain 360° antenna (27dBi), which dynamically adapts to changing conditions to overcome mmWave deployment challenges.

“We just set a new speed record for extended range 5G mmWave,” said Ari Kynäslahti, head of strategy and technology at Nokia Mobile Networks. “This demonstrates that mmWave solutions will be an essential building block for operators to efficiently deliver widespread, multi-gigabit 5G broadband coverage to their customers in urban, suburban and rural areas, complementing sub-6 GHz spectrum assets. This is a substantial achievement that reflects how we are constantly innovating and evolving our 5G services and solutions.”

Read more about FWA

Nokia has made a number of recent announcements in the development of FWA offerings. In February 2023, China United Network Communication Group (CUC) revealed it was trialling a 5G fixed wireless access service based on a Nokia Multi Access Gateway, intended to enable CUC to minimise time-to-market and optimise network synergies by terminating both fixed wireless and wireline broadband services on its existing Broadband Network Gateway footprint.

CUC adopted the FWA technology for its existing network in Guangdong in the first test in the China market. By integrating the fixed and mobile network, CUC will be able to scale network bandwidth and deliver more broadband services to its customers in the future through its 5G network.

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