5G wireless technology could be an important technology for mid-sized and rural markets, as news today about U.S. Cellular 5G testing illustrates. The company said it had collaborated with Nokia to test 5G and demonstrate 5G in a fixed wireless configuration.
U.S. Cellular and Nokia plan additional collaborative work and are focusing on indoor and outdoor environments using spectrum in the 28 GHz band. The companies used the spectrum through an experimental license from the FCC.
At least one other tier two broadband provider – C Spire – also has tested 5G in a fixed configuration. That testing also used Nokia equipment in the 28 GHz band.
The 28 GHz band is one of several that the FCC hopes to make available for 5G use. And it is the band that the FCC has proposed auctioning on a county by county basis – a plan that could make it economically feasible for small carriers to acquire spectrum whenever a 5G auction is held.
U.S. Cellular 5G Testing
In a press release, U.S. Cellular and Nokia said their 5G testing had demonstrated:
- Speeds of 5 Gbps
- Ultra-low latency under 2 ms
- Six simultaneous 4K video streams
The testing used a point-to-point clear line of sight scenario. To simulate a real world environment, the testing included indoor impairments such as dry wall, windows and metal panels as well as outdoor impairments such as trees and foliage.
The Nokia equipment used was the AirScale radio platform.
An Impending Fixed Wireless Boom?
The U.S. Cellular 5G testing is just one example of growing industry interest in fixed wireless technology. AT&T, Verizon and Windstream all have announced plans to deploy fixed wireless and Google’s purchase of broadband wireless provider Webpass suggests Google also is getting serious about the technology.