Enhancing mobile mmWave technology for expanded capabilities, better efficiencies

Infrastructure buildout costs and device power saving among key KPIs for operators

With the 3GPP Release 16 Stage 3 freeze scheduled for June 2020, Qualcomm took to its test networks and system simulations to highlight some of the key 5G mmWave technology enhancements and features on the horizon.

Specifically, Awoniyi-Oteri, a Qualcomm senior staff engineer, provides a closer look at the benefits of integrated access and backhaul (IAB), multiple transmission points (multi-TRP features) and the new device power-saving features.

The addition of IAB to a network, Awoniyi-Oteri said, makes dense deployments more economically viable by using part of the wireless spectrum for base station backhaul connections instead of fiber, while multi-TRP can mitigate the impact of signal blocking.

“[The multi-TRP] feature allows a mobile device to connect to multiple gNodeBs at the same time,” said Awoniyi-Oteri, “This brings improved robustness and performance.”

On the device side of things, Awoniyi-Oteri used Qualcomm’s system simulations to show that when enabling both the C-DRX with Wake-up Signal (WUS), which wakes up a device only when it is detected, and enhanced carrier aggregation features, Qualcomm saw an average device power saving enhancement of 53%.

In addition, Qualcomm is expanding the capabilities of its end-to-end 28 GHz outdoor 5G mmWave test network in San Diego, California using a device based on the Snapdragon 5G modem-RF system and with three antenna modules, as seen in the below demonstration.

Ozge Koymen, senior director, engineering at Qualcomm, further described the test network as “a single cell deployment with multiple distributed remote radio heads (RRHs) that provide, receive and transmit diversity as well as fast beam switching across the deployment space.”

One of the tests that Koymen demonstrated utilized two RRHs and explored the concept of providing more robust mobility. The test showed a cell phone user as he walked outside. At some point, he is blocked briefly by a metal van, and then later navigates through a crowd;

However, because the signal is connected simultaneously with two RRHs, when one RRH loses connection, the user is still connected to the other RRH. Therefore, the user does not lose service in either scenario.

The end of the demonstration explores the use of prototype repeaters on the test network, showing that by doing so, an operator can overcome the line of sight coverage loss that is common with outdoor mmWave deployments.

In addition, Koymen stated, “Repeaters are not only good for overcoming the diffraction loss of going around buildings, but also to overcome penetration loss going from outdoors to indoors. This would be key to providing any kind of [mmWave] coverage in any indoor space.”

Mobilizing millimeter wave is a key piece of providing a differentiated 5G experience; for more details, click here.

For more information on how Qualcomm is fostering innovation, visit the 5G Resource Center.

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