Around 55,000 residents of the Faroe Islands gained the option to connect to 5G after a deployment by Faroese Telecom, powered by Ericsson equipment.

The operator targeted 100 per cent population coverage with a non-standalone deployment using Ericsson cloud core, network functions virtualisation and 5G RAN products.

Faroese Telecom stated the move will enable it to provide 5G-based fixed wireless access services along with “significantly higher voice call quality” using VoLTE.

Ericsson noted the deployment spanned 18 “rocky volcanic islands” and involved providing coverage “on bridges, ferries and fishing boats up to 100km out to sea”, along with “deep subsea tunnels”.

Faroese Telecom is one of two MNOs covering the islands, which official figures state have around 55,000 inhabitants, though numbers are swelled by tourism, one of several sectors the operator expects to benefit from greater access to IoT and AI technologies.

The greatest impact, potentially, is on the fisheries and aquaculture industry, which Ericsson noted “accounts for 90 per cent to 95 per cent of the islands’ total export value and around 20 per cent of the GDP”.

Simun Skaalum, MD of Faroese Telecom, said the 5G deployment is about “more than just connectivity”, with digital inclusion the true benefit.

“Our partnership with Ericsson has transcended mere infrastructure: it’s about bridging gaps, both geographical and digital”.

The companies trialled 5G using mmWave in 2023, achieving peak download data rates of up to 6Gb/s.

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