Last week, EJL Wireless Research published a report analyzing Verizon’s 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) deployment in Sacramento, California. Earl Lum, principal of EJL Wireless, said he surveyed 99 percent of Verizon’s 5G sites within eight districts in the city, which provided “real world” data to assess the issues and complications with Verizon’s small cell deployment.

The results of the survey and analysis are published in the report United States 5G Fixed Wireless Access Case Study, Verizon Wireless & City of Sacramento, CA, available for purchase from EJL Wireless.

October 1, Verizon launched a proprietary, 5G, broadband internet service in four cities: Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento. As Verizon’s FWA service does not fully meet the 3GPP’s 5G New Radio (NR) standard, Verizon plans to migrate the company’s version of 5G to conform to the 3GPP standard. Using a proprietary version allowed Verizon to accelerate development and claim “first to deploy 5G” in the U.S.

Verizon formed the Verizon 5G Technology Forum (V5GTF) in late 2015 to develop this early platform, initially for 28 and 39 GHz trials which led to last fall’s deployment. Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung worked with Verizon on the development, and all were fully engaged in the 3GPP NR standards process.

Will FWA Pay Off?

A second and related report published by EJL Wireless analyzes the return on CAPEX investment for a 5G FWA deployment, assessing two residential scenarios:

  • Single family, tract home development.
  • Mixed single family homes with apartment buildings.

The report, United States 5G Fixed Wireless Access Single Family Home/Apartment Building ROI Analysis, Verizon Wireless & City of Sacramento, CA, analyzes 5G signal coverage compared to the density of homes and the potential market. It is also available to purchase from EJL Wireless.

“Deployment of 5G services using microwave and millimeter wave frequency bands is critical to the success of 5G in the United States. However, the limitations we have uncovered using these frequency bands should cause the industry to take a serious look at the return on investment for these types of 5G networks.” — Earl Lum