Samsung trial is bringing 5G to the UK this year

Samsung has announced that it’s partnering up with telecommunications company Arqiva to begin the UK’s first 5G trials, focussed on Fixed Wireless Access. 

It's hoped that the trial will show 5G’s potential to deliver fast broadband services, and present mobile broadband as a viable and wireless alternative to fibre – something that may make fibre broadband providers shift uncomfortably. 

The trial is set to begin in London later in 2017 and will see an end-to-end 5G Fixed Wireless Access solution network launched in the city centre. 

Big broadband

The network will operate in the 28GHz band for which Arqiva owns a license and will use Samsung’s 5G Access Units to transmit broadband with ultra-high bandwidth connectivity directly into nearby homes that have been equipped with a receiver.

As a result of being able to use the less congested spectrums above 6GHz, Samsung will be able to deliver gigabit broadband speeds to a wider number of people in less time with less cost and cabling than is currently possible with FTTH or FTTB (Fiber-to-the-Home/Building).

By working with Arqiva, Samsung will not only have access to the 28GHz band, it’ll also be able to use the telecommunications company’s large number of mobile sites and lampposts to install its Access Units. 

Though this is the first time 5G is being brought to the UK, trials are already taking place in the US and Korea.The plan is to use the UK as a starting point for 5G technology, before rolling it out across Europe.

According to Arqiva’s CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie “5G will be a crucial pillar of the UK’s economy in the 2020s.” By offering a smarter network infrastructure capable of supporting our growing connection requirements he thinks it will allow markets such as IoT and self-driving cars to grow. 

The UK government is backing the trials and has plans to invest £1 billion into improving the country’s digital infrastructure, as well as publish its own strategy for 5G in the near future.

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.