Bridging the connectivity gap with 5G FWA

By offering the most integrated, cost-effective transceiver chipsets, Arctic Semiconductor is creating new opportunities to provide ultra-high-speed wireless access to suburban, rural, and even urban areas using a 5G cellular connection. Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) enabled by Arctic chipsets can communicate at an extended range and support homes and businesses where the cost of deploying fiber/cable is prohibitively expensive, thus bridging the connectivity gap with 5G FWA.

best-in-class RF chipsets

Service providers utilize Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) to connect fixed subscribers to the 5G radio access network via a wireless link. Thus, in areas where fiber and cable connections are neither practical nor economical, this is the fastest and easiest way to get 5G to consumers. This includes rural areas and dense urban cities. The device receives the 5G signal from the base station and may utilize Wi-Fi or even cellular methods to support mobile users.

Arctic Semiconductor offers the best-in-class RF chipsets in the market and enables device makers to develop and build high-performance, compact, cost-effective CPEs for 5G deployment at scale. These CPEs support sub-6 (FR1) frequencies, surpass 3gpp standard and solve real issues for service providers including performance measures such as throughput and delay while significantly reducing total cost of ownership.

What is a CPE

Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) is the device that is used nomadically inside or installed outside of the customer’s location to connect subscribers to the infrastructure network or the public telecommunications network. With 5G CPE, the connection to the core network is via 5G radio access network. This can be through either FR1 or FR2 frequencies.

Technology advancements have made it less costly for service providers to offer fixed access via 5G due to 5G’s inherent high-capacity network and fast connections. There are several reasons FWA is becoming an attractive choice to replace DSL and Fiber: Quality and cost of installation. With fixed broadband technologies, including xDSL and cable, the cost for network installation is lower than fiber while fiber offers higher speeds. However, building fiber is a time-consuming process and requires complicated permits and civil work. FWA using CPE equipment is typically faster and less costly to install.  On the other hand, installation of cable and fiber in many areas cannot be justified in terms of added revenue considering population and density. With 5G, service providers can offer fiber-like speeds over the air and the initial investment in terms of network deployment can be adjusted based on areas and populations.

For many service providers, providing broadband connection to households is an incremental market opportunity, and the additional potential revenue is substantial. There will be approximately 300 million FWA connections by the end of 2028 with over one billion individuals who will have access to wireless broadband. The devices can be used nomadically indoor or installed indoor or outdoor. The outdoor or indoor mounted CPE device can have dedicated provisioning and offer quality of service based on the application and type of usage by utilizing network slicing specific to 5G technology. The nomadic version also offers a viable solution; however the speed and quality can be affected depending on where the device is used. In the outdoor mounted CPE case, the average revenue can be 5 times higher than from a mobile subscriber, while in the indoor mounted case, it’s estimated to be around 2 to 3 times higher.

FWA connections to triple and
reach over 300 million by
end of 2028

To unlock the full business and technology potential of FWA, a combination of mid-band (sub-6) and mmWave frequencies are needed for proper network deployment. While mmWave offers unprecedented peak rates and low latencies, the propagation characteristics of mmWave limits the range to up to 600m to 1km. Thus, it can be used for households or businesses close to dedicated FR2 small cells, while for subscribers that are further away and within the FR1 cell, the mid-band gNodeB can be used for providing required services. The capacity is offloaded from FR1 gNodeB to the FR2 small cell. Mid-band can provide services to more users and at longer distances thus increasing subscriber range (and revenue) and quality of service.

How is Arctic changing the game?

Arctic Semiconductor offers the most integrated and cost-effective RF chipsets in the market. The support for a wide range of frequencies enables equipment manufacturers to design and develop flexible solutions for different regions globally. This includes any RF band within 600MHz to 7.2GHz as well as support for mmWave antennas’ IF to baseband conversion. In the meantime, the highly advanced CMOS design and the patented technology has led to an unprecedented level of energy efficiency. This means that utilizing Arctic chipsets lowers the RF transceiver power consumption by 70%, while system power consumption will be reduced by 30%.

In addition, Arctic chipsets combine multiple functionalities into a compact chipset reducing PCB footprint by a factor of 10 and reducing cost of development while increasing reliability of the system. The CPE products that are built based on Arctic chipsets can support longer ranges with higher quality and better SNR, thus leading to more revenue generation and extended services in rural, suburban, and even dense areas.

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