Samsung and Arqiva to Conduct UK’s First 5G Trials with a Focus on Fixed Wireless Access

Samsung Electronics and Arqiva have announced an agreement to conduct the United Kingdom’s first 5G trials with a focus on Fixed Wireless Access. The trial will demonstrate the potential for 5G to serve as a compelling alternative to fibre deployment for delivery of fast broadband services as a lead-in to future 5G enhanced mobile broadband services.

The trial is set to take place in the second half of 2017 in London and will involve the deployment of an end-to-end 5G FWA solution network in the city centre, operating in the 28 GHz band. Samsung’s 5G Access Units (the base stations) leverage high-frequency millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum and advanced technologies such as beam-forming, to provide high-density coverage and ultra-high-bandwidth connectivity to CPEs (or Customer Premise Equipment) installed in nearby homes or offices. mmWave is ideal for 5G Fixed Wireless Access-type services as it allows operators to leverage the underused spectrum available in the bands above 6 GHz and deliver competitive broadband service to a wider population in significantly less time.

Samsung’s compact 5G Access Units are designed for easy and rapid deployment, while the CPE is user-installable and can bring a subscriber online in a matter of minutes. This gives 5G Fixed Wireless considerable advantages over comparable FTTH or FTTB (Fiber-to-the-Home/Building) deployments in terms of service rollout times and the costs to both the service provider and the subscriber. At the same time, the service is robust - able to deliver gigabit broadband speeds to entire neighbourhoods - and can very easily be extended to support new services in the future.

Arqiva is uniquely positioned within the UK due to its significant infrastructure assets, including mobile sites and lampposts that can be used to install the 5G Access Units. This places Arqiva in a pioneering position to lead upcoming 5G deployments.

The two companies believe that the UK serves as an ideal starting point for 5G technology introduction within Europe. This is in large part due to the country’s low broadband penetration and promising spectrum conditions combined with its diverse and advanced service economy that is ideally suited to exploring new connected use cases.