Qualcomm, TIM and Ericsson claim the new long-distance mmWave 5G world record
5G market players such as Qualcomm often tout mmWave as an emerging alternative to fixed-line broadband, particularly for regions that conventional infrastructure (such as cables) still can't reach or service. However, the same technology is currently linked to issues such as extremely limited zones of connectivity, leading to perceptions of reliance on high-density tower or base-station clusters in order to get anything near the speeds also often hyped for this form of next-gen wireless data.
Then again, Qualcomm also claims to be working on developments that push these theoretical limits back all the time. For example, the OEM, in partnership with Ericsson and US Cellular, recently claimed to have refined mmWave technology to the point that it could sustain a data call for a distance of over 5 kilometers (km). Now, the same company and its partners assert they have broken this record yet again.
This achievement was recorded on a TIM mobile testing site on the Via Oriolo Romano in Rome, Italy, and has reportedly resulted in a 5G connection between a base station and a CPE unit located 6.5km (about 4 miles) apart. It involved speeds of 700 megabits per second (Mb/s) when measured using the Ookla speed-test, or 1 gigabit per second (Gb/s) according to the UDP protocol.
The experiment in question was reportedly conducted on TIM's live 5G network, which is potentially significant as other similar projects have been conducted in laboratory or closed-network conditions. It was completed using extended-range software and an AIR 5322 mmWave high-power antenna-integrated radio supplied by Ericsson.
The CPE in question was the Snapdragon X55-powered Casa Systems AurusAI, a new product designed to work with the rest of the "ultra-broadband" 5G tech involved in this project.
Therefore, this new record could lend more weight to Qualcomm's claims that mmWave fixed-wireless access (FWA) is poised to take over from typical high-speed solutions such as fiber-optics. This company, in conjunction with TIM and Ericsson, now plans to apply their latest breakthrough to the municipality of Front, located in a part of Italy historically inhospitable to normal forms of internet connectivity.