Advanced RF Technologies (ADRF), a distributed antenna systems (DAS) OEM, has announced the availability of 5G-capable DAS and repeater solutions. The in-building DAS products will supply communications for first responders in buildings, as well as for commercial wireless users. It is another example of the DAS industry gearing up for the deployment of 5G NR radios next year and the coming availability of 5G handsets.
“With our first-to-market 5G New Radio (NR) support, ADRF continues our long tradition of technological leadership within the in-building industry and ensures we always remain a step ahead of the next cellular network evolution,” said Julie Song, ADRF’s president. “Our 5G NR solutions not only establish a foundation for 5G standardization but also gives our customers a simple, modular migration to massive wireless coverage and capacity in any building.”
ADRF’s 5G NR solutions include the ADXV Series DAS 37-dBm Medium Power Remote Unit and 46-dBm High-Power Remote Unit; the SDR-ICS Series 43-dBm outdoor modular repeater, which features an interference cancellation system; and the SDR Series commercial grade indoor modular repeater, which allows backward compatibility supporting up to 20 megahertz of 4G LTE-TDD. The radios, which operate 600 MHz up to 3.5 GHz, will be showcased at Verizon Technology User Forum on Jan. 13-16, 2019.
ADRF is currently seeing growth, in part, because of the adoption of regulations that mandate public safety wireless systems in new buildings and in existing buildings, according to Song. The National Fire Protection Association code requires building owners to extend reliable public safety radio communications indoors. Building owners may choose stand-alone DAS networks for public safety or a system that converges public safety and commercial DAS. The onset of 5G will add to the current growth of indoor DAS.
“Once the carriers begin rolling out 5G networks and 5G mobile devices become available, building owners are going to upgrade their systems to add 5G or, in new buildings where they have to deploy an entire new wireless system, they will deploy with 5G in mind. The equipment market is getting ready for this,” Song said.
Some in the industry believe that deploying small cells indoors will negate the need for DAS. Song disagrees with this assertion, noting that today’s coverage solutions demand a growing number of spectrum bands, from current public safety and cellular channels to the coming Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) and the addition of the 5G spectrum.
“In building owners choose small cells, they are going to have a whole lot of antennas in their ceilings,” she said. “Building owners should consider a small cell as a signal source and use DAS to provide coverage throughout their building. We have seen real life cases where they used small cell as a signal source, which was amplified by a DAS. There will be more of those cases, especially in the CBRS and when the enterprise is funding it. It is a lot more economical.”
5G figures to be an important technology for enterprises, especially inside manufacturing plants. The first commercial 5G customer for Korea Telecom (KT) was a robot, according to Yonhap News Agency.
“The fact a robot was selected as the first subscriber of 5G is a sign that KT aims to provide a new kind of value by infusing the latest technology, such artificial intelligence, big data and the Internet of Things,” KT CEO Hwang Chang-gyu said.
5G NR aims to significantly lower cost-per-bit with new levels of reliability, security and latency — all of which can be of use to enterprises. The three primary 5G use cases include Enhanced Mobile Broadband that connects commercial wireless users, Massive Machine Type Communications that can connect devices, and Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications that delivers real-time connections without data delay for safety-critical applications, such as automated equipment.