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Arqiva Buys More 5G Spectrum To Boost London Fixed Wireless

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Arqiva buys more 28GHz spectrum as it prepares for trial with Samsung in London this summer

Arqiva has acquired more 28GHz spectrum ahead of its planned trials of 5G-powered Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology later this year.

The network infrastructure operator already has a nationwide licence for the band but has now got its hands on 2 x 112MHz of 28GHz airwaves for central and Greater London. The previous owner was managed services provider Luminet.

 “5G connectivity is a highly debated topic, especially with regards to what it will deliver and by when,” said Nicolas Ott, managing director of telecoms at Arqiva.

london streets

5G FWA Arqiva

“However, the FWA component is set for a head start thanks to the drive from major global fixed line and mobile operators as both a substitute and a companion to traditional fibre services. 3GPP certification is critical to achieving global acceptance.

“5G FWA is an exciting opportunity to deliver true ultrafast broadband above 500Mbps to millions of households; this is especially relevant in the UK where so few households are connected by fibre to the home (FTTH) or fibre to the cabinet (FTTC). FWA has the ability to become a truly alternative technology to deliver fibre-like services.

“In purchasing this additional licence we are able to further our ambitions in this area, standing ourselves in good stead to deliver a compelling 5G FWA wholesale service to UK mobile and fixed operators across the country, and with even more capacity in Greater London.”

The first standardised version of 5G is expected to appear next year, while Arqiva and Samsung will trial 5G FWA in the capital this summer. Other operators are also looking at FWA, including BT which is integrating EE, and Three which bought Relish operator UK Broadband earlier in 2017.

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