Faroese Telecom and Ericsson set European 5G mmWave downlink speed record

Faroese Telecom and Ericsson conducted a speed test in a live network showing download peak speeds of up to 6Gbps, using 5G millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum. It is the fastest measured speed in a live network in Europe to date. This multi-gigabit mmWave technology will be deployed across all of the self-governing nation’s 18 Islands, delivering high capacity and multi-gigabit, mobile broadband speeds in suburban and rural areas.

In the North Atlantic Ocean, the self-governing Faroe Islands is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. The archipelago covers an area of 1,400 square kilometres of land, 300,000 square kilometres of sea and has a population of 54,000. Its 18 islands are mostly connected by bridges, subsea tunnels and ferries.

Since deploying 5G across the Faroe Islands starting 2022, the service provider’s radio access network (RAN) has been built out in the quest for 100 percent geographic coverage in terms of total landmass – in addition to sea coverage reaching 120 km out in all directions.

Jan Ziskasen, CEO of Faroese Telecom Group, says: “Our ambition is to have giga speed everywhere on the islands – in cities as well as in small villages, on roads, in tunnels, on mountaintops and even out to sea. Digital inclusion is a main pillar in our sustainability agenda thus reaching every centimetre and every person located on our 18 islands is paramount. This will bring unprecedented services to our consumers and businesses where world-class 5G gives key infrastructure for developing products and services paving the way for the future.”

Since 2021, Ericsson is the sole provider of 5G RAN and 5G Core, including full modernisation of the existing 4G network.

Niclas Backlund, Country Manager of Ericsson Denmark, says: “Faroese Telecom is showing the world how 5G can be deployed on a wide scale during a limited period of time. Rocky volcanic islands and rapidly changing weather is not stopping either them or us from bringing the latest 5G technology to the North Atlantic Sea. I am truly looking forward to continuing to partner with Faroese Telecom with the ambition of building a world class 5G network, with more industry firsts.”

About the mmWave speed test

The 5G non-standalone data speeds were achieved in the commercial mobile network of Faroese Telecom in an indoor deployment using Ericsson’s AIR 5322 and Baseband 6648. By aggregating 800MHz of 5G mmWave spectrum in n258 and 40 MHz of 4G FDD (frequency division duplex) spectrum a downlink speed of 5.9Gbps was measured by the smartphone when using 256QAM modulation. Moreover, an upload speed of 1.6Gbps was registered by aggregating several carriers in the uplink (UL) and selecting a TDD (time division duplex) pattern optimised for UL traffic.   

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