OnQ Blog

Fixed Wireless Access: Fiber through the air [video]

Feb 9, 2021

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Inside the Qualcomm Fixed Wireless Access Platform Gen 2

Feb 8, 2021 | 0:13

At Qualcomm Technologies, our mission is to help create a better world by innovating technologies that meet society’s needs. One of the biggest technological challenges we face as a society is equal and stable broadband access for all. Data traffic has been increasing every year at a tremendous rate, yet there are many regions around the country that still don’t have adequate access to broadband. According to the FCC, nearly 19 million Americans lack access to broadband services, and the pandemic has only heightened the need for addressing this inequity. 

Historically, deploying fiber in “last mile” communities has been costly and time consuming, resulting in less reliable internet access. At Qualcomm Technologies, we believe we can do better by providing products that enable our customers and partners to tackle the challenge of ensuring better broadband access for all communities, especially those in the last mile.

In 2019, Qualcomm Technologies announced  the first generation Qualcomm 5G Fixed Wireless Access Platform to move the needle in simplifying the proliferation of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) devices, which is now in use by over 30 global OEMs. In 2020, we worked with partners and customers to achieve record distance over 5G mmWave FWA with gigabit speeds. We saw incredible momentum in deploying and launching 5G FWA across the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Latin America. Today, we share our next step in continuing this momentum.

We’re excited to announce our Qualcomm 5G Fixed Wireless Access Platform Gen 2. This revamped platform features key elements of our latest 5G technology:     

  • The Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System

  • The Qualcomm QTM547 mmWave antenna module, our second generation extended-range mmWave solution

  • Extended-range high power sub-6 GHZ support

  • Sub-6 GHz support with eight receive antennas, a world first

  • Qualcomm Dynamic Antenna Steering technology

  • The Qualcomm 5G Fixed Wireless Access Platform Gen 2 Reference Design 

The Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System

The Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System represents the next-gen Modem-RF System technologies that will springboard 5G forward. It is designed to deliver unmatched coverage and data speeds, enabling “last mile” communities to finally be able to experience peak speeds of 10 Gbps.

Also, thanks to its advanced capabilities such as mmWave-sub-6 GHz aggregation, and unprecedented bandwidth aggregation for downlink and uplink, our 4th generation 5G modem-RF solution further extends the flexibility offered to operators and devices to increase attainable 5G network speeds and improve capacity with available spectrum. With these capabilities, operators can now utilize their own infrastructure and spectrum assets to expand service to new areas and deliver 5G multi-gigabit speeds with ease. 

The QTM547 mmWave antenna module 

This antenna module is the second generation of our extended-range mmWave solution built specifically for 5G FWA CPEs. Paired with our Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System, QTM547 delivers a comprehensive modem-to-antenna system for flexible, cost-effective, high performance 5G mmWave CPE designs.

The new mmWave antenna module offers highly flexible configurations; it can be configured to support from 16 to 64 dual polarization antenna elements, achieving up to 48 dBm of peak EIRP and complying with Power Class 1 and 5 devices. This means we’re enabling our customers to rapidly develop a diverse product portfolio that is compatible to the requirements of every major region around the world. 

Another feature QTM547 supports is the Qualcomm Dynamic Antenna Steering technology. This feature enables the mmWave antenna module to dynamically rotate, allowing it to receive the strongest signals and achieve the best performance. This will help operators and service providers reduce installation costs. It will also accelerate the industry movement toward self-installed, plug and-play fixed wireless access devices.

Finally, the QTM547 mmWave Antenna Module offers over 60 percent gain in scanning coverage compared to the previous generation with its support of “wide scan angle,” which provides greater deployment flexibility for mmWave CPE devices. 

Extended-range 5G sub-6 GHz support

Qualcomm 5G Fixed Wireless Access Platform gen 2 supports extended-range high power 5G sub-6 GHz, which can help network operators improve coverage and capacity, improvements up to 25 and 10 percent, respectively

Sub-6 GHz support with eight receiver antennas

The new platform is the very first of its kind to support sub-6 GHz with eight receive antennas for 5G FWA. With this support, the new platform can help network operators expand coverage and capacity, with improvements up to 40 percent. It will also enable them to enhance consumer experiences, especially in environments with challenging radio conditions, like edge-of-cell scenarios.

Qualcomm 5G Fixed Wireless Access Platform Gen 2 Reference Design

We’re committed to accelerating the deployment of 5G Fixed Wireless Access. And we know we can do it by making it easy for our customers to develop the next generation of 5G products and services. This is why we announced our Qualcomm 5G Fixed Wireless Access Platform Gen 2 Reference Design. 

Our second-generation reference design is powered by Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System and features QTM547 mmWave antenna module, and sub-6 GHz with eight receive antennas. The new reference design will allow manufacturers to make 5G fixed wireless access devices quicker and more cost effectively compared to the previous generation for consumers to experience a faster and more reliable internet connection. More designs mean more products for consumers, which ultimately leads to accelerated access to multi-gigabit 5G speeds to homes and enterprises. 

We believe in serving and empowering our customers and partners with technology that can make a difference for all. With these additions to our already rich portfolio of FWA solutions, we’re excited to continue pushing the boundaries of 5G expansion and providing equitable access to broadband for every home, no matter how remote. 

Learn more about Fixed Wireless Access and its benefits in Episode 4 of the “What’s Next in 5G?” video series. See all six episodes of the series here.

Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm 5G Fixed Wireless Access Platform, Qualcomm QTM547 mmWave Antenna Module, and Qualcomm Dynamic Antenna Steering are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Gautam Sheoran

Senior Director, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies

Mohammed Al Khairy

Staff Manager, Product Marketing, Qualcomm Technologies

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