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World Distance Record as 5G mmW Pushes 1Gbps Over 6.5km

Monday, December 7th, 2020 (8:12 am) - Score 5,832

A new world record has been achieved after a collaboration between TIM, Ericsson, Casa Systems and Qualcomm resulted in the companies, for the first time, reaching a broadband speed of 1Gbps over a distance of 6.5km from a radio antenna. This was done using 5G tech in the millimetre-wave (mmWave) band on a live network.

The problem with mmWave (mmW) bands for low power wireless communications has been that such signals are extremely weak and thus they don’t tend to travel very far before their usefulness expires. As a result, constructing a mobile network that can harness them tends to be very expensive and is only really viable in busy urban areas (such a network has to be quite dense, meaning a lot more cell sites with capacity fed via fibre etc.).

NOTE: mmW bands go up to 300GHz, but mobile and fixed wireless networks tend to focus on the 24GHz to 100GHz range.

On the flip side mmW comes attached to plenty of spare radio spectrum frequency, which enables them to carry masses of data and therein resides the key attraction. The new generation of 5G technology has been designed to harness mmW and significant strides have been made in ensuring that such signals can go further than previously thought possible.

The latest example comes from the aforementioned collaboration, which in Rome (Italy) established a line-of-sight Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network over a distance of 6.5km using the 26GHz band (pictured – top). But most impressive was the fact that this network still managed to achieve a data speed of 1Gbps via the UDP protocol, although it did drop back to 700Mbps when using Ookla’s Speedtest.net service via the TCP protocol.

The setup harnessed Ericsson’s new 5G mmWave high power antenna-integrated radio AIR 5322, installed at the mobile site on Via Oriolo Romano in Rome, equipped with Ericsson’s extended range software. The record was also achieved by using Casa Systems’ new AurusAI, a high-power piece of 5G mmWave customer premise equipment (CPE), and equipped with a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X55 5G Modem-RF System with Qualcomm® QTM527 extended-range mmWave antenna module.

Th setup is intended more for serving specific customer premises (homes and businesses) via a fixed wireless broadband link and it won’t remove all of the problems inherent with serving mobile (Smartphone etc.) customers. Nevertheless, the achievement is impressive and it’ll be interesting to see how the costs compare with other FWA solutions, such as those mesh systems using the 60GHz band (here).

Otherwise, the new solution will next be tested in the town of Front (Turin, Italy), where local broadband and mobile connectivity remains poor. The aim will be to give selected users access to “multi-gigabit” speeds using the FWA 5G mmWave technology demonstrated above. “Other industrial districts will subsequently be identified where business customers will be able to try the new technology,” said Qualcomm.

Admittedly it’s worth considering that the above test was clearly conducted during perfect weather and it would be interesting to see what happens when the signal also has to contend with heavy rain.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
17 Responses
  1. NE555 says:

    Nice demo, but I wonder what distance they achieve when it’s raining?

    1. A_Builder says:


      It is always bright and sunny in the UK, didn’t you know?

      5G will be as good as FTTP: honest guv T&C’s apply*

      If not you had better drink some of Our Dear Leader’s UKAID….

      *depending on atmospherics, concurrent connections, backhaul, geographic restrictions, topographical restrictions all apply, service may be unavailable at any time; in fact we have no idea how and when this will work this well in the real world if at all.

  2. Amy Matthews says:

    Don’t’ give it to Three it’ll be 1mbps over 1KM lol

    1. Billy Nomates says:

      well im getting 313mbits right now on three

  3. Michael V says:

    This is a really good achievement.
    4 miles in English!
    All four Operators need this here in UK.
    I didn’t see it in the post what power it was going out at. Be good to know what’s the max output for mmWave band range.

    Wondered how big the mmWave range was. If it’s up to 300GHz, they’re could be plenty of spectrum for future use.

    1. neo says:

      nobody needs that weapons near children sick bastards.. when u don’t understand radio waves or microwaves don’t say anything.. they lie to you it s a simple marketing, they’ll do anything to achieve goals.. stupid goats take hammer and destruct those machines of death

    2. Billy Nomates says:

      oh god another tinfoil hat nutter/arsonist.

      shoo crazy person, shoo

    3. Michael V says:

      5G, after the next UK auction, will be using the band Digital TV used to use. & It currently sits on a band lower than our home WiFi routers.
      I understand MHz / GHz really well.
      Please quit with your spam messages. U must be terrified of switching on a light bulb…

      Admin… Please remove that comment.

  4. Mark says:

    And as soon has it hits obstacles? Won’t work here with thick Cotswold stone walls, be interesting to see the locals panicking that 5G is penetrating their area, tinfoil hats ready for the school run.

    1. Lucian says:

      There will obviously be a need for outdoor devices.

    2. Anna says:

      Tin foil hats can be made from the cheap trays they will cook their turkey on. MM wave in the US hits Gbps speed and in the Eeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu it hits about 600mbps

      Wait for the nutters like you said

  5. Max says:

    starlink might do better than this!

    1. neo says:

      ask starlink musk is he somehow conected to Corona or crown above us..they all gone rich over night.. stupid bots

  6. Scientific Info for you all to ignore and laugh at says:

    [admin note: removed]

    1. Editor says:

      admin – please delete

    2. Leex says:

      So funny these people who can’t tell the difference between non-ionising and ionising ( difference between GHz and THz)

      these people should be worried about a light bulb or the sun if they concerned about radiation

    3. Billy Nomates says:

      Microtesla is a measure of magnetism. Not “ionising radiation level”.
      Second, 5G and all mobile frequencies are not ionising.
      But then when you live in your conspiracy nut cave with your tinfoil hat on, and you get your information from Karen on Facebook, I’m not surprised by your post.

      You have zero understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum. None. Thank god nobody listens to you people.

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