Rural digital divide tackled as Nokia, Qualcomm and UScellular hit extended-range 5G record over mmWave

Nokia, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and UScellular have achieved a world record extended range over mmWave of more than 10km utilising its 5G extended-range millimetre Wave (mmWave) solution on a commercial network.

This paves the way to bring extended range 5G service with massive capacity and low latency to even more regions across the U.S., including rural areas.

The field trial, which utilised Nokia’s AirScale Baseband and mmWave Radios in the 28 GHz (n261) band, was conducted on UScellular’s commercial network in Grand Island, Nebraska. The companies jointly tested multiple locations with different scenarios, measuring distance, throughput and latency.

This milestone was achieved at a world record distance of ~10km with average downlink speeds of ~1 Gbps, and uplink speeds reaching approximately 57Mbps. Additionally, ~750 Mbps downlink speed was recorded at a distance of >11km*.

5G mmWave will help close the “digital divide” and offers extreme capacity throughout rural, suburban, and urban areas. This significant milestone shows that Nokia’s 5G extended-range mmWave solution and Qualcomm Fixed Wireless Access Platform gen 1 enables mobile operators such as UScellular to address the connectivity gap in communities that previously were not serviced or may not have an adequate internet connection.

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) deliver fast broadband speeds on a cost-effective basis, thereby providing “last mile” access especially in rural areas, providing much-needed connectivity to schools, hospitals, and other anchor institutions.

Nokia’s mmWave portfolio is comprised of compact, multi-band, high-power and medium-power solutions, offering a wide range of deployment options and providing flexibility in ensuring service continuity across a wide variety of environments. 

Nokia and UScellular recently announced an agreement to add 5G mmWave capabilities in the 24 GHz and 28 GHz spectrum bands with UScellular deploying Nokia’s award-winning AirScale portfolio, with Cloud RAN capabilities, to provide enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) 5G mmWave.

Juho Sarvikas, vice president and president, North America, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., says,“This successful collaboration represents another significant milestone for 5G mmWave aiming to close the ‘connectivity divide’ and expand broadband services to rural, suburban, and urban communities. Qualcomm Technologies is at the forefront of driving the next generation of wireless connectivity and with this milestone we are empowering operators and OEMs to offer cost-efficient, high-performance, extended-range multi-gigabit 5G broadband connectivity to consumers.”

Mike Irizarry, executive vice president and chief technology officer, UScellular, says, “These latest trial results reinforce the important role that fast, reliable wireless service plays in keeping people connected no matter where they live or work. With 5G mmWave technology from companies like Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies, we can provide our customers with the leading-edge capabilities of high performance, ultra-low latency 5G and offer an even wider range of communications services to enhance their wireless experience.”

Tommi Uitto, president of mobile networks, Nokia, says, “These results demonstrate what 5G mmWave will bring to consumers, enterprises and industries. By extending the distance for 5G mmWave technology without sacrificing speed or latency, we will deliver an incredible 5G experience to even more areas. We are proud to work with our partners on this important and significant achievement. This is another milestone in the development of 5G services and demonstrates the capacity of our commercially deployed 5G solutions.” 

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