Nokia, China Mobile launch 5G hybrid indoor radio
An industry-first, commercially ready 5G hybrid indoor radio solution has been successfully launched by Nokia and the China Mobile Research Institute.
The technology has location services to meet 5G connectivity demands inside busy large buildings, such as business campuses and shopping malls, and is aimed at lowering operators' deployment costs.
Research conducted by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) shows that consumption of 70% of 5G business applications will take place indoors, with high-value customers likely to spend 80% of their working hours in an indoor environment. As a result, indoor coverage has become a key area for operators to develop new 5G services. China Mobile has long utilised distributed access systems (DAS) for 4G indoor coverage and wanted a solution that would meet the demands of 5G while reducing costs as it introduces innovative new services.
Nokia and China Mobile jointly developed the industry-first 5G low-cost hybrid distributed indoor system to meet these challenges. This active smart indoor coverage system leverages the Nokia 5G Pico RRH system together with passive DAS antennas and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. With fewer active elements to deploy compared to Pico systems, the solution reduces deployment costs to the levels associated with traditional passive-only DAS systems, while delivering greater capacity than DAS.
"China Mobile is committed to delivering the best user experience for mobile applications empowered by innovative technologies. Our collaborations with Nokia Shanghai Bell, along with the innovations jointly achieved, will help us maintain the leading position in 5G coverage and capacity while effectively lowering implementation costs," said Zhang Xinwang, Senior Researcher at China Mobile Research Institute.
The ability to leverage both active and passive indoor distribution technologies enables the delivery of intelligent operations and maintenance services, making it easier to monitor, locate and correct any disconnected elements. The new services enabled include weak coverage analysis, indoor positioning, traffic flow analysis, easy expansion and elastic scalability. In a shopping mall, the location services can enable functions such as remote security monitoring and the ability to send shoppers information about busy locations to avoid congestion. Additionally, the integration of third-party services such as geofencing and hot-spot identification will enable retailers to send coupons and store information to customers in a mall who have opted in to the service.
"Nokia is committed to working closely with China Mobile as a long-term technology partner, and the launch of the innovative hybrid system is a strong testament to our work. As a leader in 5G, Nokia will continue to build on its technology momentum to help China Mobile evolve its network to meet its business and consumer customers' increasing demands in the 5G world," said Chang Jiang, Chief Technology Officer of Customer Operations at Nokia Shanghai Bell.
Nokia and the China Mobile Research Institute are showcasing the innovative system at the 6th China Mobile Global Partners Conference, running from 6–8 December. During 2019, the companies plan to conduct an interactive live demo which will showcase how the monitoring capabilities of the solution can be used to deliver operational efficiencies.
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