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Relax, femtocells bring 5G to the sofa

Customers have high expectations for 5G and with many aspects of their lives about to be transformed by IoT, AR-based gaming and HD video on the move, they will expect to be able to benefit from its abilities wherever they are – out and about or on their sofa at home.

With 80 percent of mobile sessions being indoors, the home and small businesses remain a big focus of peoples’ mobile device use, so a high-quality indoor 5G signal is essential.

The problem is that the ‘outdoor-in’ approach is often just not good enough. mmWave outdoor 5G sites cannot penetrate inside homes due to huge propagation losses at such high frequencies.

It’s better with 3.5 GHz outdoor sites, but coverage can be spotty with moderate 5G throughput. For sub 2.5 GHz outdoor sites, the problem is the opposite - they provide 5G coverage but lower throughput.

5G femtocells are the best option

5G femtocells are the best option for in-home and small office coverage. They offer several advantages, providing indoor coverage and capacity where Total Cost of Ownership is a big factor. Easy and quick to install, 5G femtocells are a cost-effective way to extend the availability of 5G in urban and suburban areas.

By providing continuity of voice, data and services, 5G femtocells encourage users to stay with their Communications Service Provider (CSP), forming a powerful weapon in the fight against churn.

The Nokia Indoor Smart Node 4G/5G femtocell offers all these benefits. Intended as a personal RAN for indoor residential use and for small to medium enterprises, it provides both 4G and 5G mobile network access.

The solution comprises indoor radio access points, virtualized security gateway, OAM and femto gateways that can be deployed on bare metal as well as virtualized hardware. CSPs can start with a small deployment for high ARPU customers and then scale up as more subscribers come on board.

The modular design allows CSPs without 5G licenses to roll-out a 4G solution that can easily be upgraded to 5G in future to retain key customers.

Low overheads

With no macro deployment overheads, such as site acquisition, power and backhaul, the solution is cost-effective for indoor use.

Offering indoor coverage that augments macro capacity through traffic offloading, the solution also provides access for NB-IoT applications. Complementing Wi-Fi access, the femtocell integrates seamlessly with existing internet routers to improve the customer’s indoor mobile network experience.

It is durable and has an aesthetic design to appeal to home and small business users and it can be installed by users themselves on a desktop, wall or ceiling.

The Smart Node is also flexible, offering choices of output power and up to 64 users.

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Tamas Madarasz

About Tamas Madarasz

Tamas is portfolio marketing manager for Nokia’s Mobile Network Solutions. With 15 years experience in wireless technologies and MSc degrees in both Economics and Electrical Engineering, feel free to ask him anything about the latest mobile applications!

Tweet me at @t_madarasz

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