In-building 5G mmWave solutions will bring high throughput, great capacity, high reliability indoors
Verizon has begun trials with Samsung, and recently completed similar trials with Corning, that test new 5G mmWave in-building solutions, which the operator hopes will extend the footprint of its 5G network and get one step closer to delivering the power of private networks with Mobile Edge Compute (MEC).
Due to their poor propagation and penetration, mmWave signals are not considered optimal for indoor coverage; however, because mmWave signals represent that fastest version 5G, bringing them inside buildings is critical to truly achieve the benefits of 5G to facilities like hospitals, manufacturing facilities, warehouses and schools.
Corning’s VP of Wireless Solutions Michelle Engarto referenced this desire to establish solid in-building coverage in a previous conversation with RCR Wireless News, commenting, “It’s only natural that carriers are going to want to bring [5G] cellular signals indoors. We should not expect 5G to stop at the door of a building, particularly because 80% of calls are initiated indoors.”
Adam Koeppe, senior vice president of Technology Planning and Development at Verizon, also spoke of this necessity, specifically as it relates to mmWave 5G: “An indoor cell site brings the benefits of mmWave 5G — high throughput, great capacity, high reliability and the ability for a large number of users to simultaneously use robust data applications — indoors where it may be more difficult for signals from our outside 5G network to penetrate.”
Corning’s mmWave solution was selected for testing in the Verizon test lab in Westlake, TX and now has begun field testing in a live network environment. Corning’s solution is part of the company’s portfolio of strategic cellular solutions for the enterprise and utilizes its “composite fiber” that has fiber for data transmission and copper for powering, in one cable.
The trials with Samsung that just got underway use the vendor’s 5G mmWave indoor small cell technologies to provide an indoor 5G solution. Few other details have been made available at this time.
Beyond simply bringing the speed and capabilities of 5G indoors, Verizon claimed that these trials are “a critical step on the way to private 5G networks.”
According to Verizon’s press release about the trials, the highest performing private 5G network relies on three basic components: a private core serving exclusively that single system, a radio access network and a mobile edge computing platform.
“By combining a private core, an indoor cell site and the MEC platform in a facility, an enterprise can have a private and secure ultra-reliable, high-speed, low-latency 5G network,” said Koeppe. “A private 5G network will offer customers the potential to have the cloud within their facility. It will accelerate enterprise automation and digitization efforts, and with Verizon’s mmWave bandwidth and reliability, it will offer the scalability to manage massive numbers of devices along with advanced capabilities such as Edge AI, computer vision and other emerging technologies.”
Verizon expects to begin deployment of a commercial in-building product by the end of 2020.