5G Coverage Inside Buildings: Q&A
Posted by Dennis Findley on 18th Apr 2019
5G coverage in buildings is a topic that has long-since been on the tongue of our founder and CEO, Hongtao Zhan. His thoughts on the subject have been shared on many publications throughout the industry and, most recently, he was a featured guest in RCR Wireless News' webinar How to Bring 5G In-Building. We had a lot of questions come through and this post is here to address some that came up multiple times but that we didn't have time to address to during the presentation.
Related Post: 5G Status by Carrier
Can a 5G signal booster be used for TDD?
Yes, a signal booster can operate on TDD by switching the amplification direction to sync with the network. Predating 5G, there are already signal boosters that work for 4G TDD systems – Sprint’s 2.5GHz band, for example – and those same, or similar, methods will carry over to the 5G technology.
Related: First 5G Signal Booster
How will 5G signal boosters minimize interference when boosting TDD?
A TDD signal booster will not create any more interference than an FCC booster for consumer usage, as long as it uses the same Network Protection Standards (NPS). All indicators point to these NPS standards will be upheld.
Are there alternatives to fiber optic backhaul for in-building 5G coverage?
Absolutely. As we’ve seen in most backhaul discussions about 5G, fiber optic cabling is the most popular solution, but it is not exclusive. At SureCall, we have introduced the first, ever 5G signal booster for 5G FR1 frequencies (Related: Signal Booster for 5G), and we will continue innovating the technology for 5G FR2 frequencies.
Will cell carriers restrict 5G signal boosters?
The cell carriers recognize significant challenges to the transmission of 5G FR2 frequencies inside homes, buildings, and vehicles. At this point there is no indication the carriers will restrict 5G signal boosters. It appears to be quite the opposite; the cell carriers have been welcoming solutions that can facilitate reliable 5G coverage indoors while preserving data rates and capacity.
What’s your take on in-building 5G coverage with multi-operator support?
We anticipate that multi-operator 5G coverage via a single system will happen. There are many challenges presented by 5G FR2 frequencies related to TDD systems with unique timing and only one carrier per 5G cell tower requiring multi-directional antennas.
That said, an all-carrier 5G signal booster will be challenging but we’re confident that we will be able to deliver multi-operator connectivity with one system for 5G FR2 frequencies.
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