Pivotal Commware Achieves Gigabit Connectivity in Live 5G mmWave Demo at Mobile World Congress Los Angeles 2019
Posted on Nov 1, 2019 | Pivotal Commware
During Mobile World Congress Los Angeles 2019, we put our innovative and patented Holographic Beam Forming® (HBF) technology to the test in a series of live demonstrations on October 22 and 23.
To best showcase our technology for customers, partners, press and analysts, we opted to set up our gear in a real-world environment -- using commercially deployed telecom equipment in downtown Los Angeles.
We found a live 5G mmWave (28GHz) 5G base station (gNB) just two blocks from the Los Angeles Convention Center, where the Mobile World Congress convention took place, and set up shop in the Boardroom at Luxe City Center Hotel. The location is ideally suited to show what our technology can do, because the gNB lacks line-of-sight (LOS) to much of the hotel’s conference space and guest rooms (the conference room where the demo was held completely lacks LOS to the gNB, and traditionally, mmWave is considered LOS technology).
Our CEO, Brian Deutsch, commented on the demo location, “We could have done a layup shot with a canned demo at the convention center, but that’s not our style. We wanted a buzzer-beater, half-court shot, which is what we delivered by configuring our equipment in a real-world environment that represents the kind of 5G experience people would have with and without Pivotal’s technology.”
Echo 5G and Pivot 5G Equipment Set-Up
In the hotel’s Boardroom, we attached our Echo 5G to the window facing S. Figueroa Street, directly across the street from L.A. LIVE. The Echo 5G is a self-installable, on-the-window, precision beamforming repeater designed to counteract mmWave penetration, reflection, and structural shadowing losses so it can gently flood an interior with mmWave signal.
From its position on the Boardroom window, the Echo 5G Subscriber was located 300 feet away from the gNB. Because the Echo 5G Subscriber lacked line-of-sight to the base station, we installed our Pivot 5G outdoor network repeater in the hotel parking lot. Acting essentially as a base station proxy, Pivot 5G captures, shapes and redirects mmWave signals from the 5G base station around obstacles like buildings and guides the coverage to extend the range of 5G base stations. Structurally, the south end of the Boardroom wall is made of cement and windows are of standard, tinted architectural glass.
Putting Pivotal to the Test
For testing, we used an off-the-shelf Samsung S10 5G phone. We began each of the demos with a benchmark test from inside the Boardroom, to show whether 5G throughout is achievable without the use of the Echo 5G Subscriber and Pivot 5G network repeater. In each of the benchmark tests, the phone either could not connect to 5G or it connected with low throughput (< 100 Mbps). When we turned the Echo 5G Subscriber and Pivot 5G on, we instantly and consistently achieved throughput of 1,000 Mbps on the 5G network, with the phone positioned from 15 to 20 feet in LOS of the Echo 5G.
To create a more challenging test, we moved into a hallway behind the conference room. From there, without our technology, the phone could not connect to 5G; it connected with throughput of < 70 Mbps using 4G. With the Echo 5G Subscriber and Pivot 5G turned on, we instantly and consistently achieved 5G throughput of 800 Mbps, with the phone positioned from 20 to 30 feet and not in LOS of the Echo 5G.
Finally, we moved to a testing site in a second hallway, 2 boundaries and 30+ feet away from the Echo 5G Subscriber. With the Echo 5G turned off, still no connection occurred on 5G. With Echo 5G turned on, we achieved 5G connectivity, but throughput dropped to 150 Mbps, which still exceeded the best performance of the phone from within the boardroom without our technology.
Visitors who brought their own 5G phones experienced the same results.
Conclusion: 5G is Pivotal™
For the past two years, we have evangelized our Holographic Beam Forming technology as an essential element in the 5G ecosystem, and our demonstrations at Mobile World Congress Los Angeles showed this to be true. We were pleased to receive overwhelmingly favorable responses to the demos – even from a few individuals who admitted they were somewhat skeptical about our technology or about the kind of performance achievable at mmWave frequencies.
In addition to improving 5G performance and experience for end-users, our Echo 5G Subscriber and Pivot 5G reduce gNB deployment costs for network operators by minimizing reducing the number gNBs that need to be deployed. And with Echo 5G and its near horizon scanning capability, more subscribers can be served per gNB. Furthermore, Echo 5G saves on installation costs because it can be self-installed by subscribers. Meanwhile, we expect the Pivot 5G network repeater to off-load the mmWave coverage burden from base stations, minimizing siting costs and deployment time while reducing CAPEX and with it, ongoing OPEX. When you consider that a gNB costs roughly $100,000 (all-in) and takes approximately two years to install, due to municipal red-tape, it’s clear that Pivot 5G solves the unit economics challenge operators currently face for mmWave frequencies.
In addition to the Los Angeles demos during Mobile World Congress, we have conducted numerous 5G field trials around the U.S. over the past year, in which the Echo 5G Subscriber reliably demonstrated Gigabit+ ubiquitous connectivity indoors – in residential buildings, office spaces, retail stores, and stadium skyboxes. These trials have showcased our ability to overcome the in-building penetration obstacle to delivering 5G broadband access to homes and businesses with mmWave.
Pivotal’s 28GHz Echo 5G Subscriber will be shipping by the end of 2019. A 39GHz device will begin trials in December and 24GHz is in design.