nbn claims to set 5G long-range transmission world record

Monday, 18 January, 2021

nbn claims to set 5G long-range transmission world record

NBN and its technology partners Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies and Casa Systems have achieved a world record for long-range 5G transmission using mmWave.

During live testing at an nbn proof-of-concept site neat Mortlake, Victoria, NBN achieved a stable 5G mmWave transmission of close to 1 Gbps at a distance of 7.3 km — double the distance recorded at the site three months ago.

The trial will pave the way for additional tools to optimise performance and customer experience on the nbn Fixed Wireless network.

Gavin Williams, NBN Co Chief Development Officer, Regional and Remote, said this achievement is a promising sign as the company continues to develop its options to further improve performance and customer experience.

“The nbn Fixed Wireless network plays a vital role connecting Australians right across regional and rural parts of the country. We face some unique challenges, not least vast distances and harsh environments that have always required a strong focus on innovation,” Williams said.

NBN is exploring 5G technology operating in mmWave spectrum to enhance customer experience and evolve the Fixed Wireless network for future needs. The network currently covers more than 620,000 premises across regional and rural Australia, with more than 90% of customers currently within 7.3 km of a Fixed Wireless cell.

Recognising the long-range requirements of the nbn Fixed Wireless network, the field measurements will provide development guidance for wireless technology suppliers, while helping nbn understand the most cost-effective and spectrum-efficient ways to integrate 5G into its network architecture.

“This is a significant achievement for nbn and our technology partners, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies and Casa Systems; we anticipate strong interest from the global technology community as we further develop these capabilities,” said Ray Owen, NBN Co Chief Technology Officer.

Under NBN’s current initiatives, the Fixed Wireless network exhibits spectral efficiency levels above 4 bps/Hz in the downlink and 1.6 bps/Hz in the uplink, challenging global benchmarks of high-performing 4G networks. NBN’s own performance benchmarking shows that 99.9% of Fixed Wireless network cells and 100.0% of Fixed Wireless backhaul links are currently performing at or above their design thresholds.

“With industry development for mmWave largely focused on high-density urban environments, this trial helps prove the case for additional work to suit the unique requirements of the nbn Fixed Wireless network and other regional and rural use-cases around the world,” Owen said.

NBN anticipates continued innovation and technology developments on the existing 4G platform to further enhance average and peak user speed records to complement a targeted 5G implementation in the future.

Image credit: NBN Co

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