CommScope said it will add support for sub 6 GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G New Radio (NR) to its NVG558 fixed wireless gateway.
The NVG558 FWA Gateway platform provides operators the flexibility to deliver 5G NR over sub-6 GHz today and takes advantage of mmWave deployments as they become more widespread. The device has existing support for 4G LTE and 3.5 GHz CBRS connectivity.
The sub-6 GHz 5G NR version of the NVG558 will begin sampling for select customers in Q1 2020. The mmWave 5G NR version will begin sampling in Q3 2020.
“As operators build out their 5G networks, many want to maximize the value of these networks by using them to offer fixed wireless broadband services to customers,” said Joe Chow, senior VP and segment leader, customer premises equipment at CommScope. “The new version of the NVG558 offers these operators a flexible platform for delivering customers smarthome devices, video streaming, gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality,
Millimeter wave spectrum is made up of ultra-high frequency radio waves in the 24GHz to 100GHz range, which can hold and deliver gobs more data. Early 5G networks using millimeter wave tech promise speeds as high as 6 Gbps, evolving one day to as high as 20 Gbps. Latency is also vastly improved, too, going from 20-70 milliseconds with 4G to as low as the ultra-responsive sub 1 millisecond range.
But as Verizon—the most aggressive proponent of millimeter wave today—is finding out, establishing ubiquitous coverage with it is no small engineering feat. The ultra-high frequencies require very short-range broadcast of signals—around 600 to 800 feet—meaning that Verizon has to festoon every street in every city it deploys 5G in with gobs of “small cell” devices. These short-throw, ultra-high frequencies are also prone to all sorts of interference, falling leaves included, and they don’t penetrate walls or buildings.