The Indoor 5G Challenge

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3Q 2019 | IN-5600


Is Indoor mmWave Tricky or Impossible?


As 5G mobile networks build out, Mobile Service Providers (MSPs) must ensure consistent quality of service for their customers in both outdoor and indoor situations. This is particularly challenging for high-band, or millimeter wave (mmWave), spectrum as subscribers follow the data indoors to where it originates or is consumed 80% of the time.

Unlike low-band spectrum, mmWave signals do not penetrate buildings, so relying on outdoor to indoor signal penetration is a non-starter. The mmWave signal must be brought indoors and, even then, the physics of Radio Frequency (RF) propagation at these frequencies dictate Line-of-Sight (LOS) conditions for good signal reception/transmission. The indoor environment offers many obstacles, such as partitions, walls, doors, etc., which act as reflectors for the mmWave signal, increasing multipath fading and interference in the channel and potentially reducing the data throughput.

The massive throughput and capacity advantages of 5G mmWave when compared to mid- or low-band 5G are compelling MSPs to move 5G signal source…

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