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The companies set a new world record, achieving near Gigabit speeds for distances of 10 km

Nokia and Qualcomm announced this week that they had conducted a millimetre-wave (mmWave) test on a live 5G network that hit 748Mbps down and 56.8Mbps up at a range of 11.14 kilometres. At a distance of around 10 kilometres, the companies said the test reached speeds around the 1Gbps mark.

The test used Nokia’s mmWave range-extending system. This was combined with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G modem and mmWave antenna acting in the role of customer premises equipment (CPE). The team ran the test on UScellular’s commercial network in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Bridging the “digital divide” between rural and urban telecom consumers

The companies said that the 5G mmWave will help close the “digital divide” and offers extreme capacity throughout rural, suburban, and urban areas. The Nokia-Qualcomm combination enables mobile operators such as UScellular to address the connectivity gap, they said. It can bring fast connectivity to communities that previously were not serviced or may not have an adequate internet connection.

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) delivers fast broadband speeds on a cost-effective basis. This in turn provides “last mile” access especially in rural areas, they said. The technology will bring much-needed connectivity to schools, hospitals, and other anchor institutions, according to the team. Nokia’s mmWave portfolio is comprised of compact, multi-band, high-power and medium-power solutions. These offer a wide range of deployment options, they claim. The offering also provides flexibility in ensuring service continuity across a wide variety of environments. 

Juho Sarvikas, Qualcomm North America’s vice president and president, praised the result. “This successful collaboration represents another significant milestone for 5G mmWave aiming to close the ‘connectivity divide’ and expand broadband services to rural, suburban, and urban communities,” he stated. “Qualcomm Technologies is at the forefront of driving the next generation of wireless connectivity and with this milestone we are empowering operators and OEMs to offer cost-efficient, high-performance, extended-range multi-gigabit 5G broadband connectivity to consumers.”

Tommi Uitto, president of mobile networks, Nokia, agreed. “This is another milestone in the development of 5G services and demonstrates the capacity of our commercially deployed 5G solutions,” he said.