Coffee Shop WiFi Gets 5G Boost
By Melroy Machado, Technical Product Manager
Our Coffee Shop Gets a 5G Boost blog compared 4G throughput inside a coffee shop with low-e glass windows to 5G mmWave throughput courtesy of the Echo 5G Boost repeater creating a portal through the low-e glass.
Recently, Pivotal tested an all-indoor, high-power 5G mmWave-to-Wi-Fi CPE in the same coffee shop. Analyst and consulting firm Senza Fili described this scenario as “Wi-Fi only” in its white paper, Why Stop at the Window: Bringing 5G mmWave Indoors. Wi-Fi only means that the CPE affixes to the inside of the window and captures the 5G mmwave signal to deliver only Wi-Fi coverage to the interior (see Figure 1).
In our testing, the coffee shop’s low-e glass prevented the CPE from acquiring the 5G mmWave signal and defaulted to carrier’s 4G network.
To boost Wi-Fi speed using 5G mmWave on low-e glass Pivotal attached its Echo Boost repeater on the the window and moved the CPE back a few feet. Wi-Fi throughput inside the coffee shop shot from 17.5 Mbps, supplied by the incumbent broadband provider, to 744 Mbps using over the air 5G mmWave. 5G mmWave throughput was even higher, similar to test results described in Coffee Shop Gets a 5G Boost. Senza Fili described this scenario as “Wi-Fi with mmWave.” See Figures 1, 2 and 3.
Network Operators Can Monetize Enterprise FWA
We know that 5G mmWave can improve Internet access speed for store patrons using either Wi-Fi or mmWave-enabled devices. But what can it do for the 1.04 million retail establishments in the U.S.? After all, many have already switched their POS terminals and cloud-based back-end services to cellular due to lack of security over Wi-Fi, the need for occasional mobility, or other reasons. Pivotal believes that many retail establishments would prefer to have one supplier of broadband access — for themselves and their patrons — that’s faster, more secure, and offers edge compute applications to improve business performance. Particularly if making the switch involved nothing more than unboxing a device and turning it on.