Millimetre wave might not be so rubbish after all, with a group of intrepid telecoms boffins managing to set a new range record.

Scott Bicheno

June 9, 2021

2 Min Read
Nokia, Qualcomm and UScellular manage to get mmWave to go 10 km

Millimetre wave might not be so rubbish after all, with a group of intrepid telecoms boffins managing to set a new range record.

Using UScellular’s network, Nokia supplied the 5G base station kit and Qualcomm the 5G CPE. For the time being at least, this sort of thing is being described as ‘extended-range mmWave’, but presumably the hope is that it will be ‘normal-range’ eventually. They actually managed 11.14 km with a downlink speed of 748 Mbps and uplink of 56.78 Mbps. It was line-of-sight testing, however, so it seems the other propagation challenges faced by mmWave weren’t tackled.

“This successful collaboration represents another significant milestone for 5G mmWave aiming to close the ‘connectivity divide’ and expand broadband services to rural, suburban, and urban communities,” said Juho Sarvikas, Qualcomm’s North America President.

“These results demonstrate what 5G mmWave will bring to consumers, enterprises and industries,” said Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia. “By extending the distance for 5G mmWave technology without sacrificing speed or latency, we will deliver an incredible 5G experience to even more areas.”

Do they, though? They demonstrate that mmWave technology is improving and, under presumably ideal conditions it now has useful range. But unless you live in a shack in the middle of a featureless desert and fancy a bit of fixed wireless access, it’s not obvious what the real-world use of mmWave is. Still, fair play to all involved and we look forward to further propagation breakthroughs.

Qualcomm has also been busy on the IoT side of things, launching a bunch of new ‘solutions’. What problems they solve, apart from filling a cell in the great Qualcomm sales spreadsheet, isn’t immediately obvious, but there are plenty of them, seven in fact.

The QCS8250 is top of the range which, together with the QCS6490 and QCM6490 target things like the connected healthcare and retail markets. Going down the stack we have the stack we have the QCS4290 and QCM4290, which are apparently good for cameras and industrial handhelds, and rounding off the Qualcomm summer collection are the QCS2290 and QCM2290, which are handy for embedded tracking.

“Along with the recently announced Qualcomm 315 5G IoT modem, these new IoT solutions further exemplify our commitment to driving global digital transformation and providing a portfolio of solutions to transform industrial and enterprise IoT applications to achieve cutting edge performance and seamless connectivity,” said Jeff Lorbeck, GM of Connected Smart Systems at Qualcomm.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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