Samsung Electronics and Cisco announced they have completed a friendly-user trial and series of 5G demonstrations with Orange Romania in Floresti, Cluj, according Telecompaper. The three companies announced in February the first multi-vendor 5G fixed wireless trial in Europe. The trial makes use of Samsung’s 5G products including the virtualised RAN, a 5G access unit and multiple indoor and outdoor 5G routers, as well as Cisco’s Meraki Z3 WiFi Router and Ultra Gateway Platform which delivers a 5G virtual packet core on top of Cisco NFV infrastructure.
By leveraging the wide bandwidth available at 26 GHz and advanced antenna technologies such as massive MIMO and beamforming, the companies were able to achieve coverage beyond 1 km at 1 Gbps speed for a single user in real live conditions. Measurements in these conditions also show aggregated cell downlink throughputs of 3 Gbps with few users, although the system capacity is significantly higher.
The friendly-user trial has been running for a month and a half across 15 homes. Samsung 5G terminals were placed alternately both inside and outside the buildings. These terminals transmit the 5G signals to the Cisco Wi-Fi routers. To test network capacity under real-world usage, customers were encouraged to simultaneously use resource-intensive applications such as 4K video or cloud gaming.
The benefits of the new technology were confirmed by participants in the trial, according to the companies. They appreciated the ease of the installation process, the stable connectivity and the performance of the wireless connection, which they considered to be similar to or even superior to the fibre-optic connection currently in use.
On 2 and 3 July, Samsung and Cisco together with Orange are holding a demonstration near Floresti City Hall to present the results of the trial and showcase some of the most promising 5G-powered smart city and home entertainment products in front of media and partners from across the industry.
Orange did not say if it plans to launch a commercial fixed-wireless service, but noted that 5G could be complementary to fibre broadband, as well as offer reduced roll-out costs in areas with limits on fibre construction. While high-speed fixed broadband is widely available in Romania already, Orange does not have its own fixed network and relies on wholesale access from Telekom Romania. A FWA service could help it improve its 'Love' fixed-mobile packages at a lower cost than wholesale access.