Planning For 5G Wireless At Your Facilities

By Arnold Kim

For facility owners, wireless connectivity includes a greater direct effect on business innovation and strategies now than through the 4G/LTE era. 5G supports technologies such as for example mobile edge computing (MEC) for ultra low latency data transmission, massive IoT, broad VR/AR use cases, and autonomous machinery, which change how business is conducted fundamentally.

However, the road to install a highly effective 5G wireless system is more nuanced and complex than for 4G/LTE. This is because of vastly different frequency band characteristics and the addition of more wireless technologies to architect in-building networks, such as for example small cells, distributed antenna systems (DAS), and repeaters. Facility managers should comprehend the 5G landscape to see their decisions on creating a cost-effective indoor wireless network and steer clear of an expensive rip-and-replace or overhaul soon.

More Spectrum, More Considerations

The sheer amount of 5G frequency bands expands options in choosing the right 5G solution for every business case. Unlike 4G/LTE, where frequency bands share similar characteristics, the people useful for 5G (categorized as high-band, mid-band, and low-band) offer different speeds and limitations.

Photo: Getty Images

High-band includes mmWave frequencies such as for example 24GHz, 28GHz, and top of the 37GHz, 39GHz, and 47GHz bands, which give 5G its gigabit speeds and low latency. Unfortunately, the bands travel very short distances and so are obstructed by natural or man-made barriers easily, such as for example rain, vegetation, metal, brick, and low emission glass. Symbolically, mmWave is comparable to a “spot” for wireless, offering powerful connectivity in a little, densely populated area. Because of this, facility owners should deploy more wireless hardware for coverage per square foot to pay for coverage and capacity

Whereas high-band is all capacity and limited coverage, mid-band 5G could be regarded as a balance of both. Facilities owners won’t have the same low high-speeds and latency much like high-band, however the signal is more resilient and contains propagation better. Mid-band includes 2.5GHz, 3.5GHz, and more C-band recently, that is 3.7-3.98 GHz.

Low-band 5G is great for very wide coverage areas but gets the most limited speeds of the three categories. Frequencies include 600 MHz, 800 MHz and 900MHz bands, causeing this to be kind of 5G spectrum, alongside mid-band, crucial for connecting rural areas. Actually, Anterix established a 900MHz ecosystem for the utility sector, where facilities can be found in remote locations often.

All this spectrum is crucial for mobile carriers to understand their nationwide networks, but with so much diversity it could be daunting to comprehend how it impacts in-building design.

Understanding 5G Network Architectures

buying 5G in-building deployments

Before, facilities owners will need to have a clear knowledge of their business needs for wireless. For instance, a manufacturer may necessitate mmWave to power autonomous factory machinery, but not for the whole facility. It is a lot more cost-effective to support a variety of high-band and mid or low band coverage in cases like this. There’s also uncontrollable factors such as for example facility location (i.e. urban or rural), size, and base station proximity. A building in the center of a significant city will have a less strenuous time attracting mmWave when compared to a utility company in rural America.

For facilities of 100,000 square feet or less lacking any existing base station, small cells will be the most cost-effective option for 5G in-building networks likely. They are essentially a more affordable base station and offer additional capacity (increasing just how many users can leverage wireless within a location).

You can find two limitations with small cells to take into account when choosing a radio network. First, small cells don’t provide support for multiple frequency bands such as for example 600 MHz currently, 2.5GHz, 3.5 GHz, etc. Facilities that desire to create a network with a variety of high-band and mid-band spectrums require multiple small cells merely to bring convenience of each band to an individual area. This adds backhaul and hardware costs. The next limitation is that small cells provide capacity, however, not coverage. For mmWave especially, more coverage is vital as it has not a lot of range and is easily disrupted by obstacles. Facilities will demand a complete large amount of small cells to create mmWave to the complete location.

For facilities of 500,000 square feet or larger, a hybrid wireless solution of small cells and modular distributed antenna systems (DAS) is preferable because of extensive coverage needs. Whereas one small cell brings convenience of one frequency band, a modular DAS provides coverage for multiple bands. Facilities will start supporting one band and grow to aid others in exactly the same form factor without having to build or retool their network environment. This can be a critical characteristic of a future-proof 5G network. Look at a scenario in which a facility uses only small cells to aid one band now among others in the foreseeable future. The interference developed by additional bands could significantly disrupt the air frequency (RF) environment. In a hybrid use case, a little cell would bring the capability and hook up to a DAS treatment for expand the coverage over the area through a group of remote units and antennas.

more knowledge facilities owners have about 5G

The, the better equipped they’ll be to successfully deploy an in-building wireless treatment for meet their needs better value. All 5G isn’t created equal, and making certain a facility can support a lot of the spectrum shall help them mitigate project delays, implementation challenges, or disappointing outcomes.

Kim is Chief Operating Officer at Advanced RF Technologies, Inc. (ADRF) , a TL 9000 and ISO 9001 certified Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of in-building wireless solutions. Tasked with handling the day-to-day operations for the ongoing company, he’s got 15 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. To joining ADRF prior, Kim worked at Bear Stearns, Evercore Partners, J.P. Morgan, and Salomon Smith Barney, where clients included ARINC, EarthLink, Frontier Communications, Global Crossing, MRV Communications, Motorola, Sorrento Networks, SK Telecom, Teleglobe, and WaveSplitter Technologies. He earned his MBA in Economics and Finance and his BA in English and Economics, both from Columbia University.

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