Advanced RF Technologies solves some challenges of indoor 5G

buildings
mmWave has a much higher throughput requirement, which demands fiber optic cabling. (Pixabay)

Advanced RF Technologies (ADRF), the in-building Distributed Antenna System (DAS) provider, announced a suite of wireless products for 5G in-building wireless connectivity.

ADRF, which competes in the DAS market with the likes of Corning, Commscope and JMA Wireless, today introduced a series of millimeter wave (mmWave) repeaters, digital DAS, and mmWave support for its DAS. The company says these solutions enable carriers, enterprises, and building owners to provide 5G in-building wireless connectivity.

The company mainly sells its products through “neutral hosts” such as American Tower, Crown Castle, ExteNet and Boingo, according to Seri Yoon, director of marketing with ADRF.

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Its new mmWave product line will support the 27.5 GHz~28.35 GHz bands that U.S. carriers are using for 5G. “Our DAS platforms will support those mmWave products, and we’re launching our new repeater platform that supports those frequency bands,” said Yoon. “We believe there is not a commercial grade mmWave repeater out there today.”

ADRF’s CTO Andrew Jun said the challenges of indoor mmWave are “characteristic of mmWave itself.” The spectrum is known for its low propagation that makes it hard to penetrate walls and obstacles. Outdoors, operators must “densify” the network to use mmWave, and the same thing has to happen indoors. “That’s where our DAS comes into play,” said Jun. Large buildings will require multiple transmission points.

In addition, these transmission points will need to be connected through fiber optic cables that can handle the high throughput of mmWave. In the past, transmission points could be connected with hybrid fiber coax. But mmWave has a much higher throughput requirement.

Jun said ADRF also uses conversion technology to down-convert high mmWave signals to a lower frequency, then transport that through its DAS infrastructure, and then up-convert once it reaches the transmission point.

Yoon said in addition to solving for the low propagation and high throughput, 5G requires “a lot of antenna elements you have to put into this device, so the form factor of the device needs to increase. But we want to keep it compact to keep in a telecom closet.”

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“The mmWave support for our DAS and repeater solutions allow enterprises and carriers to continue building private and commercial LTE wireless networks, and cost-effectively upgrade to 5G when they are ready,” said Jun.

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