The deployment of milliwave 5G affected some major accelerations in 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic modified plans to showcase high-speed 5G in places like stadiums and airports.
Still, the mmWave spectrum will surely play a key role in fulfilling the promise of 5G. Verizon, for example, plans to expand its existing mmWave network (its “Ultra Wideband” 5G network) with other 14,000mm sites this year. And while deployments may have stalled, Qualcomm Technologies is developing new ways to overcome the challenges associated with millimeter waves.
Qualcomm unveiled its latest prototypes and over-the-air (OTA) simulations on Monday to improve the performance and efficiency of 5G mmWave. He also demonstrated new applications for 5G mmWave, including the “Unlimited XR”: more immersive virtual reality and mobile reality experiences that can support multiple users across multiple applications.
Repeaters: Extended range of mmWave
Qualcomm’s new OTA prototypes include a number of repeaters – devices that amplify a millimeter wave signal. The 5G millimeter wave offers a high speed and high frequency service. However, it only covers short distances without interference; once the signal hits a building, for example, it usually dies. (By comparison, the 6GHz 5G subg offers more coverage at lower speeds.)
At Qualcomm Technologies ’OTA outdoor testing network in San Diego, the company tested three types of repeaters: a simple two-way repeater; a repeater that takes into account TDD, which amplifies the uplink or downlink; and a smart repeater, which has TDD awareness and dynamic beam management.
“Repeaters can be absolutely a cost-effective way to improve coverage, mobility and robustness,” Ozge Koymen, senior director of technology at Qualcomm, told reporters. “Each type of repeater really has its own advantages and disadvantages as a different cost point and they all play a role in improving millimeter wave coverage.”
In a typical scenario with no line of sight, such as in an urban canyon where a mobile user walks between tall buildings, a smart repeater can offer more coverage.
For the extension of line of sight coverage, all repeaters help, Koymen said. “Where the smart repeater shines is when the person moves away from the main place, there is some mobility away from the repeater,” he said.
For specific “outbound to inbound” coverage (when a user moves from the outside to a targeted indoor location, such as a coffee shop), a single repeater is sufficient. For complete coverage of a complex interior space, such as a walled office, a smart repeater has the best performance.
Machine learning: optimization of mmWave deployments
Qualcomm has also demonstrated ways to adopt machine learning to optimize 5G mmWave deployments and improve their robustness.
One way is to use ML-based beam prediction. This can increase the usability of a system by reducing communication overload and can extend the battery life of your device.
Qualcomm also uses machine learning and optimization techniques to plan network topology, that is, to determine what types of nodes to use, as well as what types of connectivity. To achieve this, Qualcomm creates a digital twin of the target deployment area, using various data sources to capture the local environment, including foliage that can interfere with signals.
With a digital twin, Qualcomm can summarize the problem in a network chart to find the right balance of performance and profitability. This helps determine if IABs, repeaters, or other nodes are used. It can help determine what type of connectivity is optimal, such as whether it’s worth drawing fiber to a node or whether it would be more cost-effective to use out-of-band wireless.
Bring mmWave to smart factories
Qualcomm also demonstrates how version 5 5G NR-Light reduces device complexity and power consumption, making it suitable for IoT use cases such as area surveillance cameras. wide. 5G NR (New Radio) is a global standard for a 5G wireless air interface that offers faster and more sensitive mobile broadband. The first 5G NR standard was adopted in 2017, driven by Qualcomm’s innovations. In its latest demonstrations, the company showed how NR-Light devices can be added to a factory plant without using significantly more network resources.
Boundless XR: Using mmWave for immersive experiences
Qualcomm also demonstrated its “Unlimited XR” platform, which is currently in commercial testing. Boundless XR uses 5G and distributed computing for immersive virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. Image processing is performed on both the device and the edge cloud.
Use cases include real-time interactive communication, shopping, work in a mobile VR office, and multiplayer games with photorealistic graphics.
For example, a VR device sends 6 degrees of freedom data to an edge cloud server above 5G. The edge cloud processes this data and makes an image. The compressed image would be sent to the device via the 5G low bandwidth and latency connection. Qualcomm has worked to achieve optimization on the device and has partnered with Ericsson to achieve system-level optimizations to keep 5G round-trip time as low as possible.
Boundless XR optimizations manage to maintain a solid user experience even in scenarios that should create latency peaks, such as when a user blocks another user’s 5G mmWave signal. Qualcomm’s research in this area has laid the groundwork for XR experiences that take advantage of mmWave 5G, even when multiple users are involved.