Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, and U.S. Cellular have successfully achieved the first extended range 5G NR millimeter Wave (mmWave) data call in the U.S. on a commercial network. The extended-range data call milestone was completed in Janesville, Wisconsin, over a more than 5 km distance with speeds greater than 100 Mbps. This achievement redefines the perception of 5G mmWave spectrum as an urban- or high-density-only deployment technology and offers new opportunities to use current infrastructure for broader 5G coverage.
This milestone demonstrates that mmWave can help close the “connectivity divide” and expand broadband services throughout rural, suburban, and urban communities. This breakthrough gives communications service providers a cost effective way to expand their coverage and deliver 5G experience to communities that previously were not serviced or may have lacked a reliable connection.
It will also open the door for new use cases, which will bring 5G benefits to homes and business everywhere, from urban to rural communities. For example, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) installations can provide a cost-effective way to deliver fiber-like internet speeds wirelessly over mmWave to institutions such as schools, hospitals and town halls, and for addressing some of the “last mile” challenges in rural areas.
FWA provides the bandwidth required to support high definition streaming services that can improve experiences like remote education and remote healthcare in suburban and rural environments.