Arqiva Plans Wholesale 5G Fixed Wireless Access in London

August 30, 2017

LONDON—Arqiva has gained access to 15,000 more sites in London, after signing a 10-year contract with the Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames, giving it rights to install equipment in street furniture in the borough.  The company is seeking to roll-out U.K.’s first 5G fixed wireless access network.

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The deal is Arqiva’s 13th deal with a London borough out of a total of 32 local authorities in the U.K.’s capital, according to mobileeurope.co.uk.

Arqiva will use the sites to install small cells to extend coverage and capacity for mobile operators and it also plans to deploy wireless access points in high footfall areas of the borough in order to provide free public Wi-Fi.  Street furniture is integral to the future delivery of 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband to homes. The infrastructure provider is aiming to use what it learns as it develops a wholesale FWA offering, according to the same article.

Arqiva holds 60 percent of the 28GHz spectrum in London and 40 percent of the band nationwide. It began a trial of 5G FWA in London with Samsung in July.  In the trial a 5G modem in Arqiva’s Soho office talk with a transmitter on another building 230m away, streaming video across the 28GHz band at speeds of over 1GBps. The pilot will run for the next four to five months, according to Arqiva CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie, with a wholesale FWA offering slated to hit the market in the second half of 2018.

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