In recent years, major carriers and service providers in the U.S. have invested over $100 Billion in the highly sought-after former satellite spectrum at 3.45 GHz and 3.7 GHz. These blocks of licensed spectrum are poised to unlock the benefits of both higher throughput & capacity while serving longer distance coverage and higher penetration which previously plagued mmWave networks. The two main blocks are referred to as “C-Band” (3.7 GHz – 3.98 GHz) and “345 Band” (3.45 GHz-3.55 GHz). Both reside just above and below the unlicensed CBRS Band (3.55 GHz – 3.7 GHz). With nearly 380 MHz of licensed spectrum real-estate purchased, carriers are gearing up to deploy their next generation 5G networks in these new blocks.
There are considerations for deployment of this new spectrum and in certain cases a desire to co-locate and combine multiple services with C-Band to support carrier aggregation. Small Cell deployments are evolving beyond AWS & PCS Bands and employing additional 5G NR bands such as 2.5 GHz along with 345 and C-Band. In such a shared infrastructure, products such as Multiband Combiners may be required. These combiners may be in the form of diplexers, triplexers, and/or multiplexers depending on the number of service bands to be combined. It is essential that multiband combiners provide low insertion loss to maximize RF transmit power as well as high isolation and Low-PIM performance to mitigate interference. There is also a desire to minimize mechanical footprint & space as 4x4 MIMO inherently multiplies the number of components & interconnects. Products like Microlab’s BK-263E encapsulates these features in a small form-factor diplexer to easily integrate either 345 or C-Band with sub-2.7GHz services.
To support the deployment of 5G small cell solutions, Microlab has developed a series of cutting-edge products that include couplers, splitters, tappers and diplexers - BK-263E, UWB D2-83FE splitters, DN-x4FE tappers, and CC-600E series directional couplers. Microlab’s BK-263E encapsulates features in a small form-factor diplexer to easily integrate either 345 or C-Band with sub-2.7 GHz services. For both equal and unequal signal distribution in DAS applications, Microlab's UWB Dx-83FE splitters, DN-x4FE tappers, and CC-600E series directional couplers are popular options.
Another area of interest for 345 and C-Band deployment is within In-Building DAS networks. These networks are currently designed to aggregate and distribute all services from 617 MHz thru 2.7 GHz. With 345 and C-Band, this pushes the requirements for the passives infrastructure to support 617 MHz thru 3.98 GHz. Over time, a newer spectrum will be released and this continues to push the operating range of passives even higher. Ultrawideband (UWB) passives are defined as supporting the entire FR1 Band from 617 MHz thru 6 GHz. UWB passives allow for current DAS networks to provide service for C-Band and future-proofs the network for spectrum to come. Microlab’s UWB Dx-83FE splitters, DN-x4FE tappers, and CC-600E series directional couplers are popular choices for equal and unequal signal distribution in DAS applications.
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