Airtel Picks Ericsson to Test 5G FWA on mmWave


Bharti Airtel (Airtel), India’s premier communications solutions provider and Ericsson have successfully demonstrated mmWave 5G functionality on Airtel network. Peak speeds of 4.7Gbps were achieved during the testing, demonstrating the applicability of mmWave for high network capacity requirements.

The 5G high-band or millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum is a valuable resource when targeting densely populated urban areas with large number of mobile devices, homes, and businesses. The high band, above 24 gigahertz (GHz) offers an opportunity for service providers to offer unprecedented peak rates, low latency, and high capacity.

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Randeep Singh Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel, says: “The peak throughput experienced during the testing gives us the confidence to deploy mm Wave for FWA application. Using FWA customer premises equipment (CPE) supported with 5G mm Wave will not only help in delivering greater speeds but will also enable us to cover the large number of users that are not connected so far due to inaccessible fiber connections. Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is an efficient and scalable alternative to wired connections.”

Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of Ericsson Southeast Asia, Oceania and India, says, “With 5G demonstrations on the 26GHz band now underway, this is a significant step in showcasing how mmWave can be scaled and integrated into a commercial mobile network. Our extensive investments in R&D have produced in-depth knowledge, experience, and multiple 5G mmWave patents. We possess a leading portfolio in the global 5G mmWave patent landscape and fully own the technology we use.”

Ericsson’s purpose-built hardware and innovative software co-design, powered by Ericsson Silicon, places the company in a unique position to fully maximize the potential of the high-band. Ericsson’s mmWave portfolio for macro and street macro levels offers Airtel the opportunity to seamlessly bring high-capacity connectivity to urban dwellers using FWA solution.

According to Ericsson’s FWA handbook 2024 Insights, from 130 million at the end of 2023, FWA connections worldwide are projected to increase to 330 million by the end of 2029. This represents 18 percent of all fixed broadband connections. Of the 330 million projected connections, close to 85 percent are expected to be over 5G. As of November 2023, 50 out of 121 service providers with 5G FWA offerings are in emerging markets.