Critical Communications

Developing all-in-one base stations for 5G indoor use

16 October 2020

Nokia is using Qualcomm Technologies’ chipsets for its 5G RAN all-in-one base stations for indoor use.

The small cells are designed for inside residential and enterprise networks to provide universal 5G coverage where currently 5G signals are either non-existent or weak. The 5G Smart Node works with Nokia’s portfolio of 5G small cells such as the AirScale Micro Remote Radio Head and AirScale Indoor Radio, which are deployed to boost 5G capacity and coverage.

The Smart Node portfolio will enable 5G deployment at a lower price point and smaller form factor, lowering barriers to entry in 5G, Nokia said. The portfolio is based on the Qualcomm 5G RAN platform that enables operators to address 5G network densification and indoor coverage requirements.

It is expected to be available from Q1 2021.

The need for indoor 5G coverage is critically important because 80% of mobile sessions are initiated indoors — in the home or in small businesses. Many 5G frequency bands, especially the wider bandwidth ones such as millimeter wave (mmWave), cannot penetrate buildings or other foliage and walls. Nokia said its 5G Smart Node will be able to deliver voice, data and services over 5G without minimal overheads and does not require any in-house expertise for installation.

Smart Node can be deployed on tabletops, ceilings or walls and over-the-air software allow the small cells to be updated for future mobile network standards and releases.

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