Qualcomm, Ericsson, Casa’s extended-range 5G data call shows mmWave’s suitability for FWA

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The 5G data call achieved a ‘farthest-ever connection’ of 3.8 kilometers

Qualcomm Technologies, Casa Systems and Ericsson have completed an extended-range 5G New Radio data call over millimeter-wave spectrum, which according to the companies, is the world’s first. Performed in regional Victoria, Australia on June 20, 2020, the call achieved a “farthest-ever connection” of 3.8 kilometers, indicating that mmWave has “impressive range capabilities” and is “suitable for fixed wireless access (FWA).”

The data call was achieved by applying extended-range software to Ericsson’s Air5121 and Baseband 6630 hardware and a 5G CPE device powered by the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System with the Qualcomm QTM527 mmWave antenna module.

This is the same RF system used during Ericsson’s February 5G mmWave speed test that surpassed Huawei’s numbers, making it the fastest mmWave speed to date.

Gautam Sheoran, senior director of product management for Qualcomm Technologies, commented that the introduction of the Qualcomm QTM527 mmWave antenna module as part of the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System adds even more value to the product.

“We are empowering operators and OEMs to offer high-performance, extended-range multi-gigabit 5G broadband to their customers – which is both flexible and cost-effective, as they can leverage existing 5G network infrastructure,” he said. “With this major milestone being the first step in utilizing mmWave for an extended-range 5G data transfer, our collaboration with Casa Systems and Ericsson is paving the way to implement fixed broadband services for broad coverage in urban, suburban and rural environments.”

More specifically, the milestone, from the perspective of Qualcomm, Casa and Ericsson, will allow operators to offer fixed wireless as a widespread “last mile” broadband option by making it possible for them to use their existing mobile network assets to deliver fixed wireless services and expand multi-gigabit speeds and ultra-low latency service to new areas, both urban to rural.

The additional broadband band capability offered by the achievement is also expected to proliferate the roll-out of FWA customer-premises equipment (CPE) devices to areas that are often too difficult to reach with traditional broadband.

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