If you are looking at upgrading the current in-building coverage (IBC) then you may be looking at 5G capability or at least looking at future proofing. 5G brings faster speeds. Higher capacity and barter support for devices. Mid-band 5G is going to be best for most in-building coverage as it’s the most cost effective combo of coverage and capacity.
5G DAS needs an off-air signal or small cell 5G signal source. This is where the right DAS type is important. Because some but not all existing DAS networks can support this. So if you are looking at upgrading then speak to our IBC specialist team for the right advice.
In the 80’s the first cellular network was launched then the 90’s saw 2Gm the 00’s saw 3G and 2010 bought 4G. Then as the pattern has been 2020 saw 5G deployed. Cell towers are now being upgraded to support 5G and business telecommunication infrastructure is following.
5G in-building coverage is distributed by DAS antennas, cell towers distribute the signals outdoors but penetrating indoors is the issue. It’s an issue for buildings with materials like concrete, metal and thick glass. Add in high rise buildings with concrete levels also and the 5G towers cannot provide indoor cellular signals. That is why in-building coverage technology is used. And with 5G using attenuated frequencies it makes the problem of penetrating buildings even more so.
If you have ever received a call on the 25th floor of a commercial or residential building then most likely that building is using a DAS network.
Mid Band 5G IBC
Mid-band 5G spans 1 GHz to 6 GHz, mid-band 5G is used to provide both coverage and capacity in urban and suburban areas. The main telco networks use midband 5G on their networks. Mid bang 5G is what is primarily used for in-building coverage because these sub-6 GHz frequencies have plenty of capacity and good penetration through building materials
Fixtel experts recommend mid-band 5G frequencies for in-building DAS deployments for the best combination of cost, coverage and performance.
What is Off-Air 5G Signal Source vs Small Cell 5G Signal Source
5G DAS uses two primary signal sources – off-air and small cell. 5G small cells can be referred to as gNodeBs and what is used most commonly for 5G DAS networks. This is basically a cell tower in a box so to speak. An internet connection or dedicated fibre to the node is used to connect back to the core network.
An off-air signal uses a donor antenna on the roof of the building which receives a signal from the nearest cell tower. Why this is not the best solution for in-building coverage is because the signal distributed inside the building is dependent on the availability and quality of the outdoor 5G cell signal.
Future Proofing In-Building Coverage
Is 6G coming soon? When will 4G be obsolete? Future proofing in-building coverage networks is vital. Think of 5G like a movie with sequels, it is unlikely it is going to jump straight to 5G. It will in fact evolve with updates or releases over the course of the decade. New spectrums which add capacity ang make 5G faster are the sequels on the way.
Fixtel is always on top of the latest telecommunication developments and we can install a 5G mid-band supported DAS network.