Outside of the USA and a few other select markets, MNOs have not been eager to deploy 5G in millimeter wave spectrum. Sometimes this is because of lack of regulatory action, but in many cases, MNOs say they have sufficient capacity in the desirable midband frequencies, to support advanced 5G experiences for years to come (some even think mmWave will be a 6G enabler, at least outside the fixed wireless access use case).
However, in the enterprise and private networking markets, there is likely to be more rapid adoption of mmWave. There are already ecosystems and expertise in place in enterprise markets, based on the 60 GHz mmWave band, which has been used mainly for WiFi (but will also be a target for 5G NR-Unlicensed). And enterprise and industrial networks will, more commonly than macro networks, be dense and geographically constrained, lending themselves to the high capacity and limited range of high frequency bands.
Against this context, Ericsson and Telia Norway have been testing 26 GHz 5G networks for private network use, as well as for city hotzones. Their latest test achieved download speeds of close to 4Gbps, in trials conducted in the cities of Oslo, Trondheim and Lillestrøm, exploring both indoor and outdoor scenarios. But the partners said the near term opportunities lay in the enterprise market, especially to support operational transformation, process automation, and industrial AR/VR applications.
The tests used Ericsson’s Radio AIR5322 and Baseband 6630 products.
“Our tests in the millimeter band show impressive download speeds with massive capacity and low latency,” said Georg Svendsen, head of infrastructure at Telia Norway, in a statement. “This makes the technology perfect for everything from enterprise mobile networks and advanced gaming to fan experiences at sport stadiums and of course for private and commercial use in general.”
In 2019, Telia Norway selected Ericsson as its sole 5G RAN supplier.