5G mm-Wave Radio Unit Shipments to Cross 600,000 through 2025

The world has a massive appetite for mobile data, especially in crowded cities. Operators are going to have to find ways to satisfy this need for data. According to a new report from Mobile Experts operators will look towards using new networks that operate at frequencies from 24 to 39 GHz (mm-Wave). Adding capacity is the primary reason that mobile operators are investing in mm-wave. According to the recently published 5G Business Case, a few key operators will need mm-wave bands to keep up with data demand, so despite technical challenges, the investment in this technology will surge forward quickly.   

The new report from Mobile Experts Answers key questions facing the mm-wave segment:

  • Will the range of a radio link be adequate?
  • Will 5G mm-wave handle mobility?
  • Can 'pencil beams' with huge arrays work for a mobile network? Is a 1024-element array best, or is the optimal point closer to 256 or 512 elements?
  • How many beams should be used for each RU?
  • What happens when a hand blocks the mm-wave antenna on a smartphone?
  • What will happen with non-handset products such as tablets, PCs, CPEs, and hotspots?
  • What semiconductor approach is best in the RF front end, for infrastructure and client devices?
  • How much semiconductor cost will 5G mm-wave add to a handset?

The impact of adding 5G capacity can be dramatic. The operator can reduce the cost per GB of data from $1 per GB to less than $0.10 per GB - if this is done right. Mobile operators can boost their capacity to capture the entire broadband market, not just the mobile broadband market. The report includes a detailed comparison of various mm-wave RRH/AAS products, directly contrasting their respective power, size, and efficiency.

According to the report, the development of CPEs, handsets, and hotspots for mm-wave systems has advanced dramatically, and the integration of semiconductors by players like Qualcomm and Intel has brought down the cost significantly. The investigation of handset-level EIRP performance illustrates how the UE market will come out differently than most people expect.

Finally, this report lays out a clear explanation of the confusing terminology of Massive MIMO, illustrating the meaning of antenna elements, polarizations, beams, streams, transceivers, panels, RRH and RU, DU and CU, NSA and SA, among many other new concepts. Click here to read the report.

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