Delivering 5G mmWave fixed wireless access | EDN

Mobile network operators view fixed wireless access (FWA) as the first application for 5G in millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. Fixed wireless access describes a wireless 5G connection between a centralized base-station and numerous fixed or nomadic user locations.

 With regulatory rules defined, large amounts of spectrum already in the operators’ hands, and enough power output to deliver Gbps over several city blocks, the industry is ready to start building base stations. 

Verizon, AT&T, and other carriers are aggressively trialing FWA, with the goal of full commercialization in 2019. Market-research firm SNS Telecom predicts that FWA will take off rapidly, generating $1 billion during 2019 alone.

There remains a challenge: building power-efficient and cost-effective base stations and customer premises equipment capable of supporting the high power and bandwidth. 


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5G Rollout May Happen Faster Than You Think

    The rollout of 5G wireless networks needs help in the form of standards, openness and streamlined government regulation, according to top engineers at some of North America’s top wireless carriers and equipment providers. Even so, many believe it will happen much sooner than has been predicted.

    Precisely what 5G is has yet to be concretely defined by the industry. The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance, an industry association of mobile carriers, has defined requirements for 5G including data rates, transmission speeds, spectral efficiency and latency. However, the industry has yet to come together on standards for 5G networks.

    Nevertheless, firms are plunging ahead with 5G trials. Both Verizon and AT&T are currently conducting major 5G trials in several U.S. cities, and a number of trials are also being conducted by wireless operators in Europe and Asia. More extensive trials throughout the globe are planned for next year.

    Broad deployment of 5G networks is not expected until the 2020 timeframe, according to Sam Lucero, a senior principal analyst for M2M at IoT at IHS Markit.

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