While much of the attention surrounding 5G has been on the provision of carrier-based outdoor mobile connectivity services, significant mobile use originates indoors. As the increased proliferation of IoT devices and convergence of in-building technologies through the deployment of artificial intelligence, big data and cloud services continue to generate demand for indoor wireless solutions, building owners will need to adopt mobile connectivity solutions that are both flexible and future-proof.
To help building owners and operators deploy these technologies effectively, CommScope has designed its OneCell C-RAN small cell to include a new multi-carrier radio point platform, which features software-programmable radios that can flexibly support new air interfaces to enable LTE-to-5G migration.
“Our OneCell product can meet requirements for parallel systems. OneCell’s radio access point has multiple modules in one single unit, and it can act on behalf of multiple operators at the same time and also offers single operators additional capacity. For enterprises this a big advantage,” said Josh Adelson, director of portfolio marketing at CommScope, in an interview with In-Building Tech.
“It’s understood that mobile operators are going to invest outdoors while indoor remains untenable. So the need for setting up buildings with a methodology where equipment is less expensive and installation is easily deployable is becoming increasingly important for broader deployment,” Adelson added.
OneCell is also designed to meet indoor connectivity needs by using a centralized base station connected to remote radios with an Ethernet connection. The use of Ethernet rather than fiber offers building owners and operators the ability to tap existing infrastructure to converge disparate HVAC, lighting and CCTV systems without the need for a specialized overlay network.
By 2025, nearly 13% of mobile connectivity will be 5G, and 53% will remain 4G according to a GSMA forecast. While the promise of 5G and its enhancements such as ultra-high definition video, low latency in industrial automation and smart building applications will take some time, it’s important for building owners to find solutions that are future proof.
“It’s important not to become obsolete by a known technology,” Adelson said. “We very much expect that 4G will carry the day for a long time to come. So it’s not so much a question to persuade everyone to run to 5G. Given that building owners are going to building out 4G for quite some time to come, they want to do it in a way that gives them the flexibility to migrate to 5G without having to rip it all out.”