Is it time for mmWave 2.0?
Posted on January 4, 2022, by Pivotal Commware
The millimeter wave (mmWave) narrative has gone through multiple iterations since researchers and industry experts predicted 5G would be all about mmWave back in 2010. As we now know, mmWave accounted for about 1% to 2% of the 2021 RAN market and near-term growth prospects are failing to impress. While the mmWave bands provide large swaths of bandwidth and have the potential to provide operators and enterprises with incremental capacity and superior throughputs, range and indoor penetration in typical conditions remain inferior relative to the sub-6 GHz spectrum.
The implications are that the potential cost benefits with the wider bandwidths are diluted with the overhead required to densify the network and provide a satisfactory experience beyond low-mobility hotspot scenarios. In order for the mmWave spectrum to play a greater role in the long-term capacity roadmap, it will be critical to improve the economics. There is no shortage of innovation in this regard, however the uptick in power boosting tests/announcements warrants another look and could potentially pave the way for the next phase in this mmWave journey.
Mini-macros might be part of the equation, especially for fixed wireless access (FWA).
In addition to the higher EIRP trajectory, there are on-going efforts to improve the economics using repeaters and RIS (Pivotal Commware estimates its repeater can extend the gNB coverage by 50% and initial ZTE tests show its RIS can improve the coverage by 30%).
Read the full article at Fierce Wireless