March 9, 2020

In-Building Wireless Trends to Look Out for in 2020

2019 was a year of rapid growth in the telecommunications market as 5G, CBRS, and many other services finally took shape with the introduction of new wireless technologies. In 2020, these new products mean more choices for building owners and enterprises in implementing wireless solutions in their buildings. We will see the following trends in 2020:

5G takes a mmWave focus but will be more fragmented than the fourth generation 

We recently attended Verizon’s Technology User Forum (VZTUF), their annual event that gathers company employees, and its wireless vendors and systems integrators to highlight what’s to come in the new year. At the event, mmWave was a huge topic given that Verizon is using the bands for its 5G services.

Towards the end of last year, we announced our 5G suite of wireless products, including the MWR Series mmWave repeaters, ADXD Series digital DAS, and mmWave support for our ADXV Series DAS. These solutions allow enterprises and carriers to continue building private and commercial LTE wireless networks, and cost-effectively upgrade to 5G when they are ready. Unlike the move from 3G to 4G/LTE, which was a clear sunsetting of the previous generation, it will be interesting to see how 5G is integrated into the wireless ecosystem. The mmWave band with its high speeds and low latency also has propagation limitations making it perfect for urban areas, but less effective in rural use cases. Other bands are ideal for covering long distances but may not provide comparable speeds or low latency as mmWave bands. As a result, we can expect to see LTE continue to be heavily utilized in the 5G ecosystem for certain IoT use cases and for gaps in ubiquitous 5G coverage. This is the main reason why DAS that supports all 5G and LTE bands will be essential during the maturation of this new generation of technology.

Providing security with private networks

As IoT deployments increase, buildings will rapidly become ‘smarter’ from the inside out, but these new devices are vulnerabilities susceptible to hacking. The threat landscape is putting enterprises on alert and, as a result, stifling certain innovations until they feel cybersecurity is adequate. By implementing a private LTE network with CBRS coupled with DAS and repeaters, enterprises can gain control over their data, while providing options for mitigating hacks with security tools. These enterprises can also analyze incoming company data and adjust their operations accordingly.

Low latency is the true “show-stopper” for 5G technology

Faster broadband speed is typically what consumers and businesses think of when they envision a 5G future, but low latency is the real game-changer and will be the main driver for new applications in 2020. Last year, 5G was mostly marketed to consumers but new use cases are driving 5G in-building deployments to power smart buildings and cities with more efficient operations and new capabilities.

In healthcare, low latency will enable remote surgeries, advance remote working capabilities for enterprises with AR/VR solutions, and revolutionize industrial IoT through autonomous robots and improve the real-time capability to balance supply and demand for manufacturers. This move to support these applications with robust 5G connectivity will become even more of a priority for in-building stakeholders in 2020, especially since 80% of connections begin and end indoors.

2020 will be the year that the 5G focus turns not only to the consumers but to the enterprises and industries relying on 5G’s fast speeds and low latency. Building owners will need to invest in in-building wireless solutions, such as DAS and repeaters for their private LTE and 5G needs.