Building on recent milestones, Ericsson and chipset partner MediaTek have once again raised the bar on industry uplink speed with a record-setting 565Mbps throughput. This is great news for fixed wireless access (FWA) users who stand to benefit from much higher upload speeds and capacity.
The record upload speed of 565Mbps was achieved by combining two Ericsson software features – uplink single user multiple input multiple output (SU-MIMO) and Uplink Carrier Aggregation – on MediaTek T830 CPE platform with three transmit (3Tx) antennas.
For this demo, a 2.1GHz FDD (frequency division duplex) band was combined with a 3.5GHz TDD (time division duplex) band.
This is not the first time the duo has achieved such a milestone in uplink performance trials. What sets this test apart is its focus on FWA, which would benefit greatly from combining Uplink SU-MIMO with Uplink Carrier Aggregation in FR1 spectrum where FR1 stands for Frequency Range 1, the most commonly deployed 5G spectrum globally. This combination is especially appealing for FWA service providers given that device output power constraints and the placement of additional radio frequency components is simplified for FWA devices with larger form factor in contrast to smartphones.
Dr Sibel Tombaz, Head of Product Line 5G RAN, Ericsson, says: “This latest milestone with MediaTek proves that we at Ericsson are continuously innovating and leveraging new technologies to deliver the best possible 5G user experience. With this latest solution offering, fixed wireless access subscribers, consumers and businesses alike, can benefit from higher upload speeds for data-heavy applications such as cloud gaming and extended reality. We are offering high-performing solutions for the evolving fixed wireless access market.”
HC Hwang, General Manager of Wireless Communication System and Partnership at MediaTek, says: “Enhancing uplink performance is an essential advantage for 5G FWA devices used by businesses, and this technology breakthrough will further extend the advantage of 5G CPE versus line-based broadband services. Our collaboration with Ericsson has proved our combined technical capabilities to overcome previous limits, enhancing network performance and efficiency, opening up new possibilities for service providers and consumers to enjoy faster and more reliable 5G data services.”
While the focus on applications has traditionally been downlink-heavy, uplink performance has always been an important factor. The uplink can have a significant impact on time-to-content. A limited uplink can slacken time-to-content on many popular websites, which negatively affects the experience for FWA subscribers.
Getting the uplink right requires a highly tuned, customized solution that comprises a blend of hardware and software systems, including the integrated radio and antenna that sends and receives radio signals; the baseband processors; and the software algorithms that keep everything running with a high level of performance. This is why interoperability tests like this with ecosystem partners are key to ensuring the best possible user experience.
In the case of fixed wireless access, it has proven to be a 5G success story, with the number of deployments increasing rapidly. FWA connections are forecasted to reach 300 million in 2028 from 107 million in 2022. By 2028, 5G is estimated to account for almost 80 percent of all FWA connections, according to the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report. To date, more than 100 communications service providers (about 40 percent of FWA service providers) offer FWA over 5G.