Communications infrastructure provider Arqiva has announced the acquisition of an additional 28GHz spectrum license ahead of the UK’s first 5G FWA field trial.
Global trials in countries leading 5G research including the USA, Japan, and South Korea have been utilising the 28GHz spectrum band for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). The acquired Region A licence for 2x 112MHz covers Central and Greater London and bolsters Arqiva’s existing nationwide spectrum band ownership.
Nicolas Ott, Managing Director of Telecoms and M2M at Arqiva, commented:
“5G connectivity is a highly debated topic, especially with regards to what it will deliver and by when. However, the FWA component is set for a head start thanks to the drive from major global fixed line and mobile operators as both a substitute and a companion to traditional fibre services. 3GPP certification is critical to achieving global acceptance.
“5G FWA is an exciting opportunity to deliver true ultrafast broadband above 500Mbps to millions of households; this is especially relevant in the UK where so few households are connected by fibre to the home (FTTH) or fibre to the cabinet (FTTC). FWA has the ability to become a true alternative technology to deliver fibre-like services.
“In purchasing this additional licence we are able to further our ambitions in this area, standing ourselves in good stead to deliver a compelling 5G FWA wholesale service to UK mobile and fixed operators across the country, and with even more capacity in Greater London.”
Arqiva’s spectrum license was acquired from intelligent managed services provider, Luminet.
“The advent of 5G is set to be one of the most exciting digital developments of the decade, and we will be following Arqiva’s trial with interest,” added Sasha Williamson, CEO, Luminet. “Divesting the spectrum was a strategic business decision for Luminet as we continue to build on our existing 400Sqkm London network and enhance our focus on wholesale for our intelligent GB connectivity and computing services.”
Arqiva is partnering with Samsung for the UK’s first 5G FWA field trial – currently planned this summer in London. It will make use of the 28GHz band to explore the possibilities of ultra-fast, high bandwidth connectivity via wireless technology rather than conventional wired services.
The next major milestone for 5G will be in March 2018 when the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) completes Release 15 and marks the first standardisation of 5G.
Are you looking forward to Arqiva’s 5G FWA trial? Share your thoughts in the comments.