The Use of “Smart Mirrors” are Critical to Meet the Economical Demands
Simply put, 5G cannot be rolled-out economically without effective low-cost reflectors and relays. It is possible for 5G carriers to save at least 30% of their Capital Expenditures (CAPEX) and reduce their Operating Expenses (OPEX) to zero by replacing many 5G radios with well-designed, intelligently placed, low cost devices. With purely passive “smart mirrors” zero power is needed, license-free deployment is ensured, and attractive, consumer-friendly devices with fewer radiating radios will point and boost 5G beams to areas with poor coverage.
A recent market research report cited that the global 5G enterprise market is anticipated to be ~$2.2 billion by 2020 and reach ~$19.5 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of slightly above 54.7% between 2020 and 2025. According to Markets and Markets Research, the 5G market is expected to grow from $528 million in 2019 to $3509 million by 2025, a CAGR of 37.1% during the forecast period. 5G is capable of moving 1,000 times the data of 4G. It is 100 times faster. And its adoption depends on high-frequency mm-wave bands. A much lower latency network than existing networks, 5G is capable of supporting 100 times as many devices as 4G (a two-hour video downloads in six minutes over 4G, and only 3.5 seconds over 5G).
Leading wireless providers are counting on certain demographics to pay more for better experiences.
Every wireless global provider is proving out deployments simply because WiFi and 4G LTE are reaching their braking point when it comes to dense locations, such as stadiums, with users’ addiction to stream real-time videos to their social media. From DOCOMO to Verizon to SK Telecom, we’re seeing increasing attempts in mm-wave 5G deployments in a variety of venues. Of course, the 2020 Olympics to be held in Japan will showcase 5G in full force. And, because of the test deployments, we’re getting a clearer understanding about how 5G will advance digital and mobile applications.
Low latency, high bandwidth mm-wave 5G requires an entirely different kind of network planning – one that takes advantage of small, yet very effective antennas, able to receive and transmit at high-frequency bands. When consumers experience true 5G communications, a whole new world of applications will emerge in IoT, autonomous driving, digital cities, like virtual reality, immersive experiences, up-to-the-second play-by-play sharing, and much more. If 3G was all about voice communication and 4G LTE about data transfer, then mm-wave 5G low-latency will be about new services.
It’s all about economics: 5G needs to be deployed and managed affordably, and effectively.
One of the obstacles wireless providers face is extending 5G radio ranges and covered area to increase service into dead zones (e.g., in the shadows, under bridges, behind structures) and “bend signals” around corners to connect to backhaul radios. Intelligently designed passive (no power or licensing needed) and active (amplified, low power ‘smart mirrors’) can bend, point, and boost the beam, in the case of active, signals under bridges, behind structures in stadiums, and through thick building glass. By intelligently designing and pointing multiple passive and active 5G platforms between cell towers and desired cell areas, we can experience quite extensive increased signal strength inside malls and office buildings, and at highly congested usage areas like sporting events, airports, concerts, and malls, for example. In a test held in Tokyo in December 2018, DOCOMO was able to demonstrate a greatly increased data throughput, boosting speeds 10 times faster with only one Metawave ECHO (passive relay) in place.
In order to provide economical commercialization, however, these platforms need to be designed and built using conventional materials and existing production lines. If relays and reflectors can be designed well, and AI can help network plan to focus them in the right direction, we can efficiently solve the high signal propagation losses facing today’s 5G deployment. Using advanced analog designs and corresponding network planning tools, 5G roll-out is greatly simplified and made more efficient and economical by enriching the channels with enough signal strength to meet 5G gigabit speed, while dramatically decreasing the number of new radios, which are more expensive to produce, install, and maintain. Similar to sub-6 GHz relying on Moore’s law to advance complex and faster digital signal processing, millimeter-wave is all about balancing complexity between analog “Maxwell’s equations” and digital domains.
For the next five years, this important technology is poised to transform a number of industries including autonomous driving, retail, education, healthcare, and even public safety. There is no doubt that 5G will continue to pique interest across many sectors and create exciting applications and stimulate innovation and growth.
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