Orange Romania has carried out 5G trials to assess the viability of using the next-generation mobile technology to provide residential broadband services.
The French operator, which sells both mobile and fixed-line services in the Romanian market, said the fixed wireless access (FWA) trials went better than it had expected from a technical perspective, but is still trying to figure out the business case for an investment.
Orange Romania may be under some competitive pressure to beef up its broadband presence, as Romanians eye deals that include the full range of fixed and mobile services.
While it serves about 9.5 million mobile customers, making it the country's biggest mobile operator, it provides broadband services for just 200,000.
Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), which owns the former state-backed incumbent, has 5.2 million mobile and 1.2 million broadband customers. Following a merger with Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), Vodafone Romania would have 600,000 broadband customers to add to its 9.2 million mobile subscribers.
During a press conference this week in the Romanian region of Transylvania, executives from Orange said trials had delivered "fiber-grade" services to about 15 homes, representing a mix of apartments and traditional houses, and met with a positive response from customers.
Using radio gear from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) and core network equipment from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Orange was able to record a connection speeds of about 3 Gbit/s with four simultaneous downloads, and a peak speed of 6 Gbit/s.
Services were delivered over spectrum in the 26GHz range, after Romanian authorities granted Orange an experimental license for the trials.
Romania's government is expected to hold an auction of 26GHz spectrum in the second half of 2019 and Orange thinks a commercial 5G launch could happen in 2020.
Yves Martin, Orange Romania's chief marketing officer, reckons 5G could be used to support broadband services for "a good 10%" of Romania's population, equaling about 730,000 homes based on country data from 2016.
But Stefan Slavnicu, the operator's chief technology officer, told reporters that using 5G for broadband would require substantial investments in connecting basestations to fiber and "densifying" the network.
Liudmila Climoc, Orange Romania's CEO, echoed those remarks. "We know this technology will require significant investment on the technology layer and on spectrum," she told reporters. "It is still too early to talk about the business case."
For the full story and analysis of what Orange is trying to achieve, check out these articles on Light Reading:
As Vice President of Global Healthcare at AT&T, Maria Lensing oversees the telecommunications operator's technology and professional services offerings across the spectrum of medical providers, from solo practitioners and walk-in clinics to giant hospital chains, medical-device vendors and consulting firms. Lensing also sees more interest from traditional service providers -- cable and telecom operators looking to expand or build relationships with their own medical communities, perhaps as an adjunct to smart-home successes or standalone.
Lensing, who took on this role almost a year ago in May 2018, oversees both the sales and technical teams responsible for developing growth initiatives for AT&T's Global Healthcare business -- including products, services and industry-specific solutions. She also very actively promotes business minority inclusion, education and female empowerment programs and has been recognized both within and outside AT&T. Some awards she's received include "Top 40 Under 40" and "Super Woman in Business" from the Memphis Business Journal.
Join Maria Lensing, VP of Global Healthcare at AT&T, on Tuesday, April 23 at 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 p.m. PT, when she's the guest on BBWN Radio, hosted by Broadband World News Editor Alison Diana. Register now!
So far, the agenda includes a discussion of technologies such as fiber and 5G; defining the needs and solutions for a widely diverse range of customers; partnering for success in a typically slow-moving, budget-constrained market; learning and dispersing best practices from other verticals and within other business groups; promoting diversity and female empowerment when so many say they're doing so but so little has changed; and what she hopes to accomplish in another year in this role.
Register and post your questions for Maria on BBWN Radio's easy-to-use chat board. We will get to as many questions as possible. Please post questions before and during the broadcast. Once you've registered, you will be led to the chat board page. Talk to you on April 23!
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on February 14 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT / 4 p.m. UK when John Isch, Practice Director of the Network and Voice Center of Excellence at Orange Business Services, discusses use cases, ROI and misconceptions of software-defined wide-area networks, virtualization and cloud.
Just when you thought the answer to your next technology direction question was clear, the noise around multiple new technology options fills the Internet and airwaves. Multiple 5Gs are being deployed; there's CableLabs' 10G initiative; the ITU and IEEE are toiling around 50G PON – and we haven’t even talked about Wi-Fi6 yet! Is any of this real, do you have to pay attention or can you just let the dust settle and then decide?
Since waiting is often not the best option, let’s demystify technology options, their impact on your business, and how to prepare for whatever the future brings.
In this webinar, Service Providers will learn:
Current state of 5G and how it affects everyone, not only mobile network providers.
Latest technologies being developed and how they will benefit their networks and subscribers.
How to prepare their networks for the future – whatever it may hold.