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Verizon works with Corning and Samsung to eliminate one of the disadvantages of mmWave 5G signals


As many of you know, there are two different systems that deliver 5G signals from carriers to their customers. Sub-6GHz uses spectrum with frequencies under 6GHz; these are usually low and mid-band airwaves. For example, T-Mobile’s 600MHz low-band signal and the 2.5GHz mid-band spectrum that it acquired from Sprint fit into that category. Sub-6GHz 5G signals travel long distances (which is why T-Mobile and AT&T have built out their nationwide 5G networks using these signals. And while the low-and mid-band signals can penetrate structures better, they do deliver slower download data speeds than the ultra-high mmWave system that Verizon has been focusing on. Eventually, all of the U.S. carriers will use a combination of sub-6GHz and mmWave airwaves to provide consumers with zippy fast 5G service with low latency.

Verizon works with Corning and Samsung to bring mmWave 5G download speeds inside

Verizon would love to come up with a way to make mmWave signals penetrate inside buildings where they typically have a hard time moving from outdoors to inside office buildings, malls, schools, and other buildings since that would solve one of the major disadvantages to using these signals. Today, the carrier announced that it has ended lab trials with Corning and started lab trials with Samsung using technology that will allow mmWave 5G coverage to work inside hospitals, schools, manufacturing facilities, retail stores, warehouses, and more. This will expand the footprint of the carrier’s 5G Ultra Wideband network.

Adam Koeppe, Senior Vice President of Technology Planning and Development at Verizon said, “An indoor cell site brings the benefits of mmWave 5G – high throughput, great capacity, high reliability and the ability for a large number of users to simultaneously use robust data applications – indoors where it may be more difficult for signals from our outside 5G network to penetrate.” The in-building systems also are a big step forward for private 5G networks. The latter is a small, self-contained network where the components are all located in one facility.

According to Verizon, Corning’s in-building solution brings 5G inside with the use of “Corning’s state-of-the-art composite fiber (with fiber for data transmission and copper for powering, in one cable).” Samsung’s contribution to the lab trials has been its 5G mmWave indoor small cell in-building product that provides a compact, discrete indoor 5G solution that can deliver the high-throughput and lower-latency service at levels that will satisfy Verizon’s business customers’ requirements for receiving indoor 5G service.

Michael Bell, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Optical Communications, stated that “Now, with Corning’s mmWave solution, Verizon will showcase its 5G Ultra Wideband capabilities for the enterprise. Our mmWave solution draws on Corning’s decades of experience in network design to deliver cost-effective indoor coverage that allows enterprises to reap the full benefits of 5G.”

Samsung also made a statement. Magnus Ojert, Vice President, Networks Division, Samsung Electronics America said, “Building on our network collaboration with Verizon since 2009 and our global leadership in mmWave technology, we are excited to expand 5G’s next phase to the enterprise with Verizon. These first trials of indoor small cell solutions, coupled with our recent advancements with vRAN, advance our support of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network, and will provide their U.S. consumers and enterprises with incredible new experiences.”

Verizon says that by the end of this year, it expects to start deploying a commercial in-building product. While Verizon has the early speed lead over AT&T and T-Mobile, extending this advantage indoors would be quite a feather in Verizon’s cap.

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