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Arqiva and Samsung kick off UK 5G trials

(Image credit: Image Credit: Flex)

The establishment of a UK 5G network has moved a step closer than to a new announcement from Arqiva.

The telecoms infrastructure firm has revealed today that it has launched its first field trial of 5G connectivity in the UK, marking an important step forward in the development of the new networks.

Arqiva has partnered with Samsung for the launch of a four-month trial of 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology in central London at the company's Fitzrovia headquarters.

The trial looks to demonstrate the stability of the FWA service, which is hoped could offer a fast-to-market and cost-effective alternative to fibre for connectivity to homes and businesses.

The system brings together Samsung's 5G network solution and customer premises equipment (CPE) with Arqiva’s 28GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum. This, it is hoped, will establish a two-way mmWave link enabling download speeds of around 1GB per second.

“One of the most exciting prospects that 5G is expected to bring to the table is the exploration of powerful new use cases outside of traditional smart device mobile connectivity," said Paul Kyungwhoon Cheun, executive vice president and head of the next generation communications business team at Samsung. "Our trial efforts with Arqiva give us the chance to demonstrate this first hand, and we view this demonstration as a door-opener for new and compelling connected service opportunities in the UK, Europe and worldwide.”

Arqiva, which first announced its intent to launch such a network back in February, notes that the 5G network could be particularly useful for media companies, allowing for simultaneous streaming of more than 25 UHD 4K TV channels.

"This trial is the first of its kind in Europe, let alone the UK – and we are hugely excited about the high data rates, low latency and growth potential we’re going to be able to demonstrate," said Arqiva CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie.

"Though only a proof of concept at this stage, we are confident that this trial with Samsung will showcase not only 5G FWA’s potential for delivering ultrafast broadband but also the value of the 28GHz band in helping achieve this."

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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.