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Ericsson and Airtel Demo 5G FWA Functionality on mmWave

2024-02-23 10:49:00| Source:Rcrwireless

Ericsson noted that peak speeds of 4.7Gbps were achieved during the tests carried out with Bharti Airtel

India’s largest communications solutions provider, Bharti Airtel, and Ericsson have successfully demonstrated mmWave 5G functionality on the Airtel network.

In a release, the Swedish vendor noted that peak speeds of 4.7Gbps were achieved during the testing, demonstrating the applicability of mmWave for high network capacity requirements.

Randeep Singh Sekhon, CTO at Bharti Airtel, said: “The peak throughput experienced during the testing gives us the confidence to deploy mmWave for fixed wireless access (FWA) application. Using FWA customer premises equipment (CPE) supported with 5G mmWave will not only help in delivering greater speeds but will also enable us to cover the large number of users that are not connected so far due to inaccessible fiber connections. FWA is an efficient and scalable alternative to wired connections.”

“With 5G demonstrations on the 26 GHz band now underway, this is a significant step in showcasing how mmWave can be scaled and integrateda commercial mobile network. Our extensive investments in R&D have produced in-depth knowledge, experience, and multiple 5G mmWave patents,” said Nunzio Mirtillo, head of Ericsson Southeast Asia, Oceania and India.

According to Ericsson’s FWA handbook 2024 Insights, FWA connections worldwide are projected to increase to 330 million by the end of 2029 up from 130 million at the end of last year. Of the 330 million projected connections, close to 85% are expected to be over 5G, according to the report.

In August 2023, Bharti Airtel announced that its 5G FWA offering, dubbed Airtel Xstream AirFiber, was available for its customers in Delhi and Mumbai. The operator said that the new service, which will offer internet to consumers in fiber dark areas, will address the last-mile connectivity issue in both rural and urban India where access to fiber infrastructure is a challenge.

Airtel noted that Xstream AirFiber is a plug-and-play device, with built-in Wi-Fi 6 technology that will offer wide indoor coverage and can simultaneously connect up to 64 devices. Airtel said it plans to launch the service in multiple cities and scale up nationally in phases.

Airtel recently said it aims to launch FWA services for factories using 5G Standalone architecture (SA). The telco’s managing director Gopal Vittal also said that trials for 5G SA were carried out in a city in the northern region of the country with 30 sites.

Local newspaper The Economic Times recently reported that Bharti Airtel currently has over 65 million 5G subscribers across India. According to Vittal, the contribution of 5G users to the telco’s overall subscriber base was still low, at around 15-16%.