The grace of indoor small cells is enhanced in consumers and enterprise markets. Small cells enable RF coverage Along with distributed systems of antenna, and Wi-Fi networks. Although 5G enables greater download speeds than earlier cellular standards, depending on the frequencies used by base stations, the technology may not provide coverage comparable to 3G and 4G networks.
Millimeter-wave (mmWave), which runs from 30 GHz to 300 GHz, is one of the frequency bands used by 5G. The primary disadvantage of mmWave-based mobile 5G is that it does not perform well indoors. Because mmWave signals have difficulty passing through building walls and some types of glass, indoor 5G performance is hampered.
There are a number of major benefits to 5G small cells planting for private networks that will fuel this expansion and that enterprises should consider.
5 Advantages of Using Small Cells in 5G Instead of Traditional Cell Towers:
5G small cells with built-in eMBB and mMTC capabilities can connect a large number of devices on a single private network to address wireless connection capacity demands. Additional 5G tiny cells can be quickly added if an industrial site or campus requires more capacity as the network’s demand develops.
Enterprises may detect where service is needed on campus and then strategically plant 5G small cells to give comprehensive coverage, similar to how Wi-Fi access points are deployed in an office building today. This also gives businesses the ability to easily increase coverage in response to changing needs.
Unlike Wi-Fi access points, 5G small cells use 3GPP mobile technologies to ensure seamless hand-off between small cells and no loss of connectivity. This is crucial for use cases such as autonomous forklifts operating across a factory floor or tracking containers in a large shipping port.
When businesses use 5G tiny cells to build their own private network, they may keep all data on-premises instead of transferring it over the internet or to the cloud.
5. Availability of the Spectrum
Small cells for 5G can be deployed in licenced, shared, unlicensed, or locally licenced spectrum, giving businesses a wide range of enhancement options for their private network. They can team up with a mobile operator to build a private network using licenced airwaves.
A small cell is a low-power cellular base station that uses a number of frequencies to communicate. Small cells can transmit data across distances ranging from 40 feet to a few kilometers, depending on their size. Through an Ethernet, fiber, or wireless connection, these tiny base stations connect to the main cellular network.
Small cells within buildings are becoming more important in 5G networks. With more 5G small cells being installed in offices, residences, and apartments, this trend is likely to continue.
Why Are Small Cells Needed for 5G?
Despite lofty promises from large MNOs, individual businesses will deploy the majority of 5G small cells. A report says that by 2031, 45 million small cells will be provided globally. Companies that want to build their own private 5G network for business will use some of these tiny cells.
Enterprises can deploy a secure, reliable, low-latency, and high-speed private network on-premises by combining a private 5G core with a small cell network. Despite all of the buzz around private 5G, the technology that allows for these private corporate networks is only now becoming available.
Indoor coverage will vastly improve as 5G network densification increases. As previously stated, high-band mmWave 5G radios do not fare well in indoor conditions. Office walls and furnishings can completely block high-band signals, but they can also decrease mid-band 5G RF.
Enterprises that want high-speed data downloads of 1 Gbps or more through cellular networks will require many mmWave small cells to assure consistent, uninterrupted data coverage indoors.
Midband or low-band frequencies will likely be used by the majority of 5G small cells deployed. Although these bandwidths don’t entirely rely on suitable indoor micro radios to offer coverage, businesses who rely on strong 5G signals indoors should consider installing mid-band 5G small cells to be safe.
Few 5G Indoor Use Cases
Mobile broadband networking has been transformed with the arrival of 4G LTE. Massive gains in throughput and capacity have enabled entire new ecosystems around the smartphone app economy, allowing for radical transformations in consumer culture.
1. Mobile Broadband
Enhanced mobile broadband refers to the significant increase in capacity that 5G will bring, as well as the novel user experiences that will result from it. While 4G LTE is improving and now offers speeds of over 1 gigabit per second because of innovations like LAA and Massive MIMO, 5G will offer bandwidths of up to 10 and 20 gigabits per second, depending on the available spectrum.
Wireless streaming cameras with 4K and even 8K resolution will be possible with 5G. This could enable wireless security cameras, high-resolution video streaming for training or education, and video uploading to social media in more public locations. All of these scenarios are applicable in indoor settings.
2. Massive IoT
Massive IoT refers to a set of scenarios in which thousands of devices rely on extensive, low-cost coverage to send very little data messages. These are not time-critical signals, but rather messages that are unaffected by minor delays, with cost and battery life taking precedence. Smart meters, sensor networks, and tracking are all instances of Massive IoT.
While small cells offer several advantages over traditional cell towers, the deployment of these cells is still in its early stages. There are many unanswered questions about small cells and 5G that will only be answered with more experience using them. However, the potential for increased network capacity and faster data speeds make small cells an attractive option for 5G networks.
Have you seen any benefits from using small cells in your area? Let us know in the comments below.