T-Mobile conducts 5G millimeter-wave testing with Ericsson Qualcomm, designed to increase FWA capacity

Us telecom operator T-Mobile US has announced a 5G network test using its millimeter-wave spectrum that enables the operator to increase the speed and capacity of its rapidly expanding fixed wireless access (FWA) service.

 The T-Mobile US test, along with Ericsson and Qualcomm, used the carrier’s 5G SA network to aggregate eight millimeter-wave spectrum channels, achieving peak download rates of more than 4.3 Gbps. The test also combined the four millimeter-wave channels of the uplink together to achieve an uplink rate of over 420Mbps.

T-Mobile US noted that its 5G millimeter-wave test is “deployed in crowded areas such as stadiums and may also be used for fixed wireless services”. The latter part refers to the T-Mobile US’s high-speed Internet (HSI) FWA service.

 In a statement, Ulf Ewaldsson, president of T-Mobile US Technologies, said: ” We have always said that we will use millimeter wave where necessary, and this test showed me how millimeter wave spectrum can be used in different scenarios such as crowded places, or to support services such as FWA in conjunction with 5 GSA.”

 The FWA use case may be an important millimeter-wave use route for T-Mobile US.

 T-Mobile US CEO Mike Sievert said at an investor meeting this week that the carrier has designed its network to support up to 80GB of usage per customer per month. However, John Saw, T-Mobile US, speaking in a recent keynote at the MWC Las Vegas event, said that its FWA customers use about 450GB of data traffic per month.

The operator manages this difference by parsing the FWA connections on its network. This includes monitoring the network capacity of each cellular site, which may affect the ability of new customers to register the service.

 Mike Sievert Previously said: ” If three people signed up (FWA services) or four to five signed up (depending on the region), the entire community will disappear from our list until we have another excess network capacity.”

By the end of the third quarter of 2023, T-Mobile US had 4.2 million FWA connections on its network, which is half of its stated goal, with the company’s goal being to be able to leverage its existing network architecture and spectrum resources to support about 8 million FWA customers. These FWA customers are very attractive to T-Mobile US because they provide a sustained revenue stream without requiring T-Mobile US to spend more capital expenditure on its network.

Ulf Ewaldsson Said in this year’s second-quarter earnings call that the company had deployed millimeter-wave spectrum in some markets, specifically mentioning Manhattan and Los Angeles. ” We do have huge capacity demand.”He added that while T-Mobile US is more focused on macro spectrum strategies based on medium and low frequency band resources,” millimeter wave may also be a meaningful option for us in terms of enhancing usable capacity (e. g. for HSI).”

 Ulf Ewaldsson Said, ” We are working with our suppliers and OEM vendors to determine whether we can work with them to achieve viable economic and technical performance cases.”

 The use of millimeter wave could enable the operator to increase its FWA capacity potential, including a greater push into the enterprise market.

 In an interview, Mishka Dehgan, senior vice President of strategy, product and solutions engineering, said the operator saw growth opportunities in the enterprise market FWA, highlighting specific business needs.

T-Mobile US recently deepened its enterprise-focused FWA equipment through partnerships with Cisco and Cradlepoint.

Mike Sievert Said this week that the carrier is considering options to increase its FWA capacity, ” including both millimeter wave and small cell and possibly midband, with standard or nonstandard-based technology, all things we’re thinking about. They are different from each other, and we have not yet reached any conclusion.”


Post time: Dec-08-2023