The Region A licence for 2x 112MHz covers Central and Greater London and bolsters Arqiva’s existing nationwide spectrum band ownership.
The 28GHz spectrum band is the standard band used for 5G connectivity trials in the USA, Japan and South Korea focused on Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) – offering promise for future 5G implementations in the UK.
The next key milestone in 5G deployment will be March 2018 when the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) completes Release 15. This will be the first standardisation of 5G, paving the way for FWA to be the first commercial release of 5G technology.
This commercialisation of 5G standards will allow vendors and operators to deploy at scale an ecosystem that spans from chip-set to network equipment on a global basis, therefore driving further economies of scale.
“5G connectivity is a highly debated topic, especially with regards to what it will deliver and by when. 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.”
Arqiva is set to conduct the UK’s first 5G FWA field trial, in partnership with Samsung, in London this summer. Using the 28GHz band, the trial will explore the possibilities of ultra-fast, high bandwidth connectivity via wireless technology rather than conventional wired services.
“The advent of 5G is set to be one of the most exciting digital developments of the decade, and we will be following Arqiva’s trial with interest.
“Divesting the spectrum was a strategic business decision for Luminet as we continue to build on our existing 400Sqkm London network and enhance our focus on wholesale for our intelligent GB connectivity and computing services.”