US Cellular said Wednesday morning that it is testing indoor and outdoor connections with Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) over a 28GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) connection using the vendor's AirScale radio platform. Tests took place at US Cellular's Schaumburg, Ill. facility, with connections of 5 Gbit/s -- indoors and out -- and latency of under 2 milliseconds (ms) on the radio link. (See What Does It Mean to Be '5G Ready'?)
Nokia said that the 5G radio could stream "6 simultaneous 4K HD videos over the link." Indoor testing was in US Cellular's lab. For the outdoor testing, a point-to-point, line of sight between a basestation and user equipment was set up. "To test the impact of a real world environment, impairments such as dry wall, windows and metal panels were introduced, and testing was repeated by moving the base station and user equipment behind trees and foliage," the vendor said in a statement.
US Cellular is just the latest American operator to get a crush on using mmWave -- whether 5G or not -- for high-speed fixed broadband. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has said that it intends to set up a fixed 5G pilot trial in 2017, while Windstream Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WIN) is gearing up to launch mmWave-based last-mile service in up to 72 markets in the US. (See Verizon Cleared for Take-Off on Fixed 5G and Fixed Wireless Revival: Windstream Eyes New Multi-Megabit Markets in US.)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading