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Orange, Cisco, Samsung Test 5G FWA in Romania

Orange Romania, alongside its technological partners, Samsung and Cisco, are announcing the results of the first 5G multi-vendor Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) test performed in real environment conditions.

The test, taking place between the 1st of June and the 16th of July 2018 in Floreşti, Cluj county, is the first of its kind in Europe and a very important step in understanding the capabilities of the 5G technology in the context of European market development.

Through the new architecture, the 5G fixed terminal is connected via radio signal in millimetric waves at a 5G base station. The user will have Internet access via Wi-Fi or cable with fiber-like performance through a router connected to the 5G fixed terminal.

The radio base station of the virtualized access network connects through the fiber optic network to the virtualized Core network installed in the Orange data center.

15 number of residential customers were selected to take part in the test and experience for the first time the new technology from the comfort of their own homes/households. This approach was made possible with the help of 5G Samsung terminals placed both in the interior and the exterior of buildings which sent the 5G signal to Wi-Fi Cisco routers. To test the capabilities of the network in real usage conditions, the customers were encouraged to simultaneously use apps which require significant resources, such as 4K videos and cloud gaming.

Although still in its testing phase, the benefits of the new technology have been confirmed by the selected customers. They appreciated the ease of the installation process, the stable connection, and the good performance of the wireless connection that they found to be similar or better than the one they currently use.

As part of the testing process, fixed 5G terminals were also installed in the Carrefour Market Floresti and in the Florești City Hall to validate the new solution for business or public sector customers.

5G Fixed Wireless Access – the performance of fiber offered through a wireless solution

Providing this new fixed wireless access represents an important and innovative step towards providing commercial 5G services by giving residential customers an experience similar to the one with fiber by using a fixed wireless solution. FWA uses a radio signal in millimetric waves in a 26GHz bandwidth to offer downlink speeds per user of 1Gbps in real conditions and even beyond 1km distance (i.e. at the cell edge). This is a significant improvement compared to what we can achieve today with LTE, in similar conditions. Real live measurements also show aggregated cell downlink throughputs of 3Gbps with few users, although the system could reach 6 Gbps aggregated cell capacity using the same amount of spectrum.

5G FWA provides benefits not only in terms of high speeds, but also through its accessibility, working as a complementary solution to fiber. Moreover, this technology eliminates the need of cable installation – a benefit for historical and residential areas where there are restrictions on installing fiber optics.

The test taking place in Floreşti paves the way for 5G and promises significant benefits such as increased operational efficiency, connecting a great number of devices at the same time, increased speed, unlimited access to different wireless technologies, small lags and flexibility for future integrations.

“Orange stands out in the Romanian market as a pioneer of innovation in technology, with the goal of offering its customers the best usage experience. Today, together again with our customers, we make an important step and we test a 5G network for the first time. This is a test which brings us closer to the future, an opportunity to better understand the way in which technology works in real usage environment conditions, the challenges that we can face while deploying new technology and the benefits it can bring to both our residential and business customers.” said Liudmila Climoc, Chief Executive Officer at Orange Romania. – Light Reading

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