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Why fixed wireless services will lead domestic 5G deployments?

At the recent Enterprise IoT Summit, a panel of experts discuss what’s behind the initial use of fixed wireless deployments to test 5G technology.

On this week’s “Carrier Wrap” we take a look at the “Fixed wireless access: The first phase of 5G” panel from our recent Enterprise IoT Summit in Austin, Texas.

A number of domestic carriers have announced plans to begin trialing “5G” network technology, with some of those tests scheduled to begin this year. Most of those announced moves have centered on so-called fixed wireless deployments, which will see carriers offering wireless broadband services to customers in a fixed location.

For instance, Verizon Wireless plans to begin trialing services this month, lighting up services across 11 markets by mid-year. The deployments are set to include select customers, with an emphasis on gauging the user experience, evaluating network performance and gain insight into the performance of services delivered over millimeter wave spectrum.

The trial is said to include the deployment of “5G access units” across various parts of the markets linking radio signals to a virtualized core network set up with Verizon’s data centers, with a service focus on providing wireless internet access and voice over IP calling.

AT&T has similar plans, announcing its first move late last year in launching a business customer trial using millimeter wave spectrum at one of Intel’s offices in Austin, Texas.

The panel discussion at the Enterprise IoT event included Boris Maysel, director business development at Siklu Communication; Farooq Khan, CEO at Phazr; and Berge Ayvazian, senior analyst at Wireless 20/20.

Topics discussed included why fixed wireless trials were being used as the first phase of 5G deployments; what types of operators fit the mold to offer fixed wireless services; long-term business aspects of fixed wireless deployments; and what spectrum and technology challenges are behind and could challenge the deployments.

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