3.5GHz trial a step to expanding NBN fixed wireless capacity

NBN Co, Ericsson say trial beat expectations

NBN Co and Ericsson have completed a trial of fixed wireless broadband using the 3.5GHz band, the companies announced.

The 3.5GHz band provides up to 200 MHz of spectrum and will allow NBN Co in the future to increase capacity of the National Broadband Network’s fixed wireless network in regional areas. This will complement fixed-wireless services currently delivered over NBN Co’s 2.3GHz spectrum holdings.

In the LTE TDD trial, NBN Co and Ericsson tested 3.5 GHz radio coverage and fixed-wireless service performance. The trial was carried out at two sites using a 20 MHz TDD carrier in the 3.5GHz band. Wireless termination network devices (WNTD) were provided by NetComm Wireless, based on chipset solutions provided by Sequans Communications.

Peak cell throughputs, both downlink and uplink, met or exceeded expected performances, the companies said.

NBN Co general manager of fixed wireless and satellite, Gavin Williams, applauded the results of the trial.

"We see a way forward to expand coverage and capacity to our customers in a cost effective manner using our existing LTE assets complemented with new 3.5GHz radio units,” Williams said in a statement.

In other 4G LTE news today, Telstra announced a roadmap for its wireless services that includes LTE-Advanced, LTE Broadcasting and future 5G services.

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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