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Overcoming the challenges of indoor connectivity with 5G

The promise of 5G is exciting. Technological development is something that so clearly highlights progress. Although it is still currently in the development stages, the potential of fifth generation connectivity is impressive. However, currently 5G has a real problem when it comes to providing the promised connectivity. This article will discuss the difficulties that need to be overcome prior to the widespread roll out of 5G technology.

The 5G promise

5G technology once perfected will offer the world broadband level connectivity anywhere at any time. With the possibility of low latency (delay), high bandwidth, widespread availability and fast speeds, 5G is exciting.

These promises would mean luxuries such as streaming seamlessly on the move will become a reality. This is not just a great ability that will make commutes better, but it is sure to transform the digital industries. Video consumption could soar, in turn potentially changing marketing habits, social media habits, video subscriptions and alike. Essentially the implementation of well-functioning 5G could change a lot more than just our connectivity.

The problem that 5G faces

5G offers a faster connection than any of it’s predecessors, in fact around 100 times faster than 4G. 5G has this superb speed due to the fact that it is carried over different wave frequencies. 4G uses 3GHz frequencies, 5G on the other hand is transmitted using millimetre wave frequencies in the range of 28GHz or higher. The issue with this is that the larger the waves the more difficulty they have penetrating certain materials. These materials include many of those used to construct the buildings that we surround ourselves with. Treated glass, steel and metallic insulation are all materials that create a challenge for the developers of 5G.

How can we overcome the challenges that face 5G?

The challenge of providing superb 5G connectivity indoors is something that relies on being able to capture and boost the signals that can be received. According to RCR Wireless News small cells and DAS are a promising duo.

Small cells

A small cell is a radio access point that uses low radio frequency to improve coverage and add targeted capacity. These are commonly used to connect small outdoor areas but can be deployed indoors. A small number of these placed throughout a building can really help 5G connectivity as they can act as the signal source for DAS.

DAS

A distribution antenna system is a collection of cables and small antennae placed throughout a building to improve connectivity. The antennas receive the connection signals and then distribute this from their position. DAS can then be used to receive and distribute the 5G signal captured from an onsite location that the 5G signals can reach much easier, for example a rooftop or external conductor, or additionally from the small cells.

Therefore, the best way for everyone make the most of the 5G distribution, whenever it may be, is to be prepared. Keep up to date with 5G development to ensure that there is a plan in place to be able to fully utilise the technology inside your premises.

For further information on telecommunications, please see our blog.

January 21, 2019