Nokia says new additions to its smart cell portfolio will make it easier for mobile operators to use their spectrum assets and boost indoor and outdoor 5G coverage.
In order to achieve the capacity, low latency and reliability required by the most revolutionary 5G applications, operators will need to densify their networks with more access points.
Base stations are impractical in urban areas due to lack of space and the need to improve coverage in harsh and complex indoor environments that are difficult to penetrate with medium and high frequencies. This means that micro-infrastructure such as small cells will be essential.
Nokia’s new AirScale Remote Micro Headsets (mRRH) are small enough for operators to have deployment flexibility and also consume less power, thus improving the economics of network construction. Meanwhile, pico Remote Radio Head (pRRH) will increase indoor coverage by supporting a wider range of spectrum bands on 4G and 5G networks.
The company has also updated its millimeter wave (mmWave) portfolio for venues requiring extreme capacity, such as airports and football stadiums, to be smaller and easier to set up. Finally, a new femtocell product will allow consumers and SMEs to improve 4G and 5G coverage themselves.
Along with Ericsson and Huawei, Nokia is one of the “big three” providers of radio access network (RAN) technology to the industry. However, the company was surprised by the earlier-than-expected switch to 5G and struggled to bear the high cost of developing 5G technologies.
It has since revised its strategy following an internal restructuring and is committed to doing “whatever it takes” to be the market leader – even if that means sacrificing profitability in the short term. It caters to many of the UK’s largest carriers, which means any update to its product portfolio has a direct benefit to the deployment and quality of UK 5G networks.