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Qualcomm integrates 5G and Wi-Fi 6 in new reference design for FWA home gateways

The design pairs 5G backhaul capability with the latest in Wi-Fi connectivity

Between the official certification of the latest Wi-Fi standards and the global rollout of 5G, many find themselves wondering just what to expect from the two technologies, especially when considered together. It’s becoming increasingly clear that 5G will create a new set of use cases around the world, many of which may require a combination of resources to achieve a truly enhanced and reliable network. This will inevitably result in denser networks, making  the convergence of Wi-Fi and 5G more critical.

Yesterday, Qualcomm Technologies took a step towards convergence with the announcement of a new reference design for 5G-based fixed wireless access (FWA) home gateways, which integrates the company’s connectivity offerings, including the second-generation Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System and the Networking Pro 1200 platform for high performance Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.

By supporting multi-gigabit 5G fixed wireless backhaul, the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System defines the most significant shift from wireline technologies, and Qualcomm’s reference design pairs this 5G backhaul capability with the latest in Wi-Fi connectivity, security and high-performance features.

For its part, the Networking Pro 1200 platform is a Wi-Fi Certified 6 wireless networking offering that supports up to 12 spatial streams of Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, multi-user scheduling algorithms, and advanced implementation of Wi-Fi 6 features like MU-MIMO and OFDMA in uplink and downlink across all spatial streams.

The Networking Pro 1200 platform was initially announced at Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 6 day in August, where, before revealing the new product, Nick Kucharewski, VP and GM, Networking Infrastructure at Qualcomm, explained that as the definition of connectivity evolves, new metrics for how we think about Wi-Fi networks must be considered.

According to Qualcomm, the new reference design will allow broadband carriers, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to rapidly develop and deploy all-wireless home internet solutions with the latest in Qualcomm’s 5G cellular and Wi-Fi 6 home networking technologies. This, the company stated in a press release, will transform the traditional home broadband industry with multi-gigabit, plug-and-play alternatives to digital subscriber line (DSL), cable and fiber.

“The vision of fully-wireless home internet is being realized through 5G technology. With the high capacity expected by broadband subscribers and ample spectrum for carrier deployments, the era of wireless home internet has begun,” said Kucharewski said in a press release. “This new home gateway reference design can help ISPs and broadband carriers deliver triple-play home internet to customers, including fiber-like high-speed data, television and phone services, all with support for hundreds of devices, in a high-performance single-box solution powered by the latest connectivity offerings from Qualcomm Technologies.”

Qualcomm’s Senior Director of Product Management Gautam Sheoran added, “This reference design is yet another example of 5G’s potential to transform industries beyond the smartphone, just like we’re seeing in transportation, AR and VR, industrial manufacturing and more.”




Catherine Sbeglia
Catherine is a Technology Editor for RCR Wireless News, Enterprise IoT Insights, and In-Building Technology. Before joining Arden Media, she served as an Associate Editor in Advantage Business Marketing's Manufacturing and Research & Development Groups. She studied English and Film & Media Studies at The University of Rochester. She currently lives in Madison, WI. Having already lived on both coasts, she thought she’d give the middle a try. So far, she likes it very much.

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