Fixed Wireless Access is one of the best hopes operators have of making money from their 5G investments, so there’s a strong incentive to claim to be the best at it.
The main purpose of FWA is to fill in the fibre broadband gaps, but if it’s too slow or has too little capacity then it’s not much good. Ericsson, Qualcomm and TIM, in partnership with Casa Systems, managed to hit 1 Gbps (1Gbps with UDP protocol, 700Mbps Speedtest Ookla TCP) on TIM’s live network, using 26 GHz frequencies, at a distance of 6.5 kilometres from the site.
While the big names will inevitably steal the limelight, the real star of the show seems to have been Casa Systems’ new AurusAI, which they say is the industry’s first high-power 5G mmWave customer premise equipment (CPE). Still, the other three love a speed record and Ericsson will be gratified to have prised Qualcomm from Nokia’s grasp for this one.
The press release bangs on about how this proves ‘the usability of 5G millimetre-wave spectrum, not only for urban, high speed or high-density-only deployment, but also for wider 5G FWA coverage.’ Maybe, but we’d like to see it in action with more than one device before we declare FWA to be a viable alternative to fixed-line broadband.