NBN taps Nokia to upgrade its fixed wireless network

NBN has selected Finnish telecom provider Nokia to provide 5G mmWave fixed wireless access equipment for its fixed wireless network upgrade.

The CPE provided by Nokia supports “mmWave” high frequency bands capable of Gigabit speeds for premises within 7 km of a radio base station.

The upgrade program will expand the existing fixed wireless footprint by up to 50%, allowing approximately 120,000 former satellite-only eligible premises to access fixed wireless services for the first time.

The 5G mmWave upgrade deploys the 28 GHz band to operate in non-standalone (NSA) mode with the cmWave spectrum and will help enable faster network speeds, including the launch of two new broadband tiers wholesale: 100 Mbps and 250 Mbps.

Nokia’s mmWave solution includes an antenna design that can leverage mmWave up to a range of 10 km to meet NBN’s stringent throughput and capacity requirements.

The CPE consists of an outdoor unit installed on the roof of the premises and an indoor unit providing user interfaces for the customer, connecting to the outdoor receiver with a 2.5 Gbps Power over Ethernet connection.

The devices will be used as part of NBN’s Fixed Wireless and Satellite Upgrade Program, a $750 million investment in the NBN Fixed Wireless Network, made up of $480 million from the Australian Government backed by $270 million additional dollars from NBN.

“Using mmWave over long distances has been very difficult due to high signal attenuation. Nokia’s high gain long range technology is an important innovation as it compensates for this attenuation and minimizes possible interference from satellites, offering a balance between throughput and total cost of ownership,” said Mandala Insights Founder and Principal Analyst Shiv Putcha.

“Nokia’s 5G mmWave solution allows NBN to better utilize our sub6GHz and 5G mmWave spectrum allocations to significantly extend the range, speed and capacity of our existing fixed wireless network and improve the end-user experience” , said the executive general manager of the fixed wireless and satellite network of NBN. Jason Ashton.

“This innovative antenna design will be a key enabler for our fixed wireless upgrade program, and our longstanding relationship with Nokia helps us deliver on our commitment to continuously improve the customer experience and make evolve the fixed wireless network for future needs.”

The solution deployed by NBN is the latest addition to Nokia’s FWA portfolio which provides solutions for urban, suburban and rural environments.

“Australia is a large country, much of which is sparsely populated. The NBN deployment is a great example of mmWave being useful in FWA deployments which are an ideal solution in these environments. mmWave connections allow us to ‘Massively increase speeds, which is essential for residents to have adequate access to education, health and entertainment services,’ said Nokia’s Vice President, Broadband Devices. Dirk Verhaegen.

This first appeared in the CommsWire subscription newsletter on October 20, 2022.


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