Broadband Forum launches project focused on 5G FWA for MDUs

Written by Kelly Hill for RCR Wireless News

Broadband Forum launches project focused on 5G FWA for MDUs

Broadband Forum has launched a new technical project focused on enabling 5G Fixed Wireless Access to more efficiently serve multi-dwelling units (MDUs) via the re-use of existing property infrastructure cabling.

Broadband Forum described several issues with using 5G FWA—particularly at mmWave frequencies, which provide the greatest speed and capacity—to serve apartments. Millimeter wave is unlikely to penetrate a building sufficiently to provide gigabit-level service to individual apartments, but installing an individual FWA CPE for each apartment can mean an impractical number of pieces of equipment, causing issues with the needed amount of roof space, the necessary RF separation and potential for interference issues—not to mention that need to lay Ethernet cable to each apartment, Broadband Forum explained. Instead, it says that individual apartments could be reached “using the existing property infrastructure cabling, such as twisted pair or coaxial cabling, from the attic or basement of the building,” which is the focus of the new project.

“Broadband Forum is aiming to address and solve these challenges by leveraging the existing in-building infrastructure, such as telephone wiring or coaxial cabling, to extend 5G FWA to each apartment within a hotel block or apartment complex,” said Christele Bouchat, Nokia and Wireless/Wireline Convergence Work Area Co-Director at Broadband Forum. “We have launched this project to bring tangible benefits to operators and make the rapid and efficient delivery of multi-gigabit connectivity for residents and building owners a very real possibility.

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