April 14, 2021
Wireless Technology Opens Opportunities For More Applications And Indoor 5G
By Julie Song President at Advanced RF Technologies (ADRF), responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company globally.
2020 was a year of many changes, as the pandemic altered everyone’s lives and work routines. However, these changes did not slow down the telecommunications industry as it steamrolls ahead with 5G network deployments and initiatives that validate the benefits its low latency and high speeds can bring to different industries. This momentum continues into 2021, where we can expect to see some of the major trends from 2020 further solidify.
Expanding 5G’s Reach Indoors
As of December 2020, there have been 229 million 5G subscriptions globally, according to Omdia. Additionally, according to GSA, 61 countries around the world have 144 commercial 5G networks and plan to implement more. However, the majority of these 5G networks are being deployed outdoors, and with its short travel distances and easily obstructed mmWave frequency bands, 5G must be brought indoors for optimal coverage. This is essential for multiple industries in health, entertainment and more as they begin dipping their toes into adopting 5G-enabled technologies.
More Wireless Technologies Means More Network Options
The expansion of 5G has added to the wide array of wireless network options, such as public and private LTE, and private 5G to achieve unique enterprise goals.
The State Of 5G In Early 2021, Part 1
Unlike public and private LTE, 5G is spread across diverse frequency bands, each with their own characteristics. 5G’s high-band spectrum (mmWave sub-6 GHz) is easily disrupted and travels short distances but provides ultra low latency and high speeds. Conversely, the mid-band spectrum (2.5GHz and 3.5GHz) is more resilient and balanced in terms of coverage and capacity, while low-band (600 MHz) is most resilient with lower 5G speeds.
While business and building owners can choose their preferred wireless network architecture, there will certainly be a creative network mix to meet specific needs at the lowest cost. For example, a stadium might leverage private LTE for their back-end administrative work that supports sensitive data and may not require 5G to power their applications in their office spaces. Instead, 5G mmWave may be used exclusively in and around the field to enable next-generation fan experiences.
Mobile Carriers Are Pioneering Wireless use Cases
Since 5G success is contingent upon powerful applications of wireless technology, we can expect to see mobile carriers continue to get more directly involved with creating use cases. In a way, 5G has become its own micro industry. We are already seeing T-Mobile create an accelerator program in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, to help develop new 5G applications for robotics, industrial IoT, remote medical care and more. Additionally, Verizon has also launched its own program called 5G Labs to develop new solutions for enterprises. They have also partnered with Dignitas to launch the nation’s first 5G esports training facility. These are just a few examples of carriers looking to pioneer 5G applications, which is much different than their approach during the 4G/LTE era.
As 5G’s coverage widens, so will its applications, and no organization is better at understanding the value of this next-generation service and its impact on the future than carriers themselves.
2021 will be a year where 5G use cases grow in number and maturity, altering the way our society functions. Carriers and building and company owners alike will try to engage with the greater population through the implementation of 5G and will do just that by adopting technologies that best suit their goals.