Experts from Qualcomm’s European team pushed the deployment of mmWave in the region as a complementary technology to current 5G deployments, citing a need to increase coverage in crowded areas and support services including fixed wireless access (FWA).

At an event in London, Qualcomm highlighted the benefits of using the mmWave frequency band, pointing to improving user experience in areas with poor 5G service including transport stations and stadiums.

Qualcomm senior director business development Vikas Dhingra added consumer and enterprise devices, and infrastructure products were already there to support mmWave deployments, given the band’s use elsewhere in the world and some European markets.

He added targeted deployment of mmWave could alleviate consumer network congestion pain points, an area “worth solving” and one which the frequency can do “at a much lower cost” per bit compared with other options.

Dhingra claimed survey evidence implied consumers would be willing to pay more for this capacity boost in the likes of stations or for general higher speeds in some markets.

GSA figures cited at the event revealed almost 10 per cent of 5G devices are compatible with mmWave, with 118 operators globally holding licences for the spectrum band.

Qualcomm noted 14 countries in Europe have made the band available, with more expected this year.

While noting Europe was behind some other regions in terms of availability of mmWave, Qualcomm representatives highlighted various local projects it has worked on including a tie-up with Telecom Italia for AR experiences in Pompeii and broadcast applications with France Television.

Also noted were rural applications for farming including agricultural robots and environmental monitors.

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