NetComm Director of Technology Strategy Els Baert has warned mobile operators not to get side-tracked by early reports of poor performance by millimetre-wave (mmWave) technology in 5G field trials to start with 5G Fixed Wireless.

In her keynote address at the Big 5G Event 2019 in Denver, Baert tipped 5G Fixed Wireless as  the application that will generate revenue for 5G while we work towards getting the new applications up and running.

“We all knew that mmWave would have its challenges and there were no guarantees on the performance of the technology.with these latest trials, it’s becoming more and more clear for the industry that considering 5G in mmWave alone, won’t be enough to be successful. 5G is much more than that.

“mmWave is certainly part of the 5G landscape but it is only one part of a much broader suit of spectrum assets that will be used.

“The reality of 5G – especially when we are talking about 5G Fixed Wireless deployment – is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are going to be several different deployment mechanisms for operators in the field.

“We will see operators operating 5G Fixed Wireless services over a combination of spectrum bands using both the mid-band and mmWave.

“The mid-band frequencies have shown that reliable high-speed services can be delivered as they are being deployed in rural areas to connect the even most remote locations. By using this spectrum as a base, operators can guarantee a consistent performance from the technology.

“However, these operators can still make very effective usage of mmWave spectrum in certain locations where it’s suitable, this is by no means a zero-sum game.

“The mmWave spectrum can be used to top up the speeds offered over the mid-band to allow for peak speeds of the much sought-after gigabits per second.

“From a launch perspective we need to see operators delivering reliable and stable 5G Fixed Wireless services into the marketplace in order to build customer confidence in the technology as early as possible.

“The best way to ensure this will be to see operators focus their initial 5G Fixed Wireless launches in the mid-range bands.”