5G Indoor Coverage and Evolution of Distributed Antenna Systems

5G Indoor Coverage and Evolution of Distributed Antenna Systems

This IDC Market Perspective looks at the evolving landscape of solutions that are available for extending/augmenting existing 3G/4G distributed antenna systems (DAS) to 5G coverage indoors. Indoor coverage in commercial buildings and transportation hubs has typically relied on passive distributed antenna systems to provide 3G/4G coverage. However, due to the higher frequencies of mid-band 5G, it will not be practical to try to deliver 5G on a passive antenna infrastructure but instead move to an active small cell architecture that utilizes fiber to connect the small cells. This type of infrastructure does not require the passive DAS to be ripped out since it can continue to service 3G/4G as long as these frequency bands are needed. Once a small cell architecture is deployed, a more clear path toward future proofing the investment for 6G in 2030 or later since fiber connectivity will become the extended fronthaul, and small cell technology can be easily replaced and/or upgraded in the future."The next several years will see hybrid 4G passive + active 5G architecture in brownfield commercial/retail deployments and, predominantly, 5G active small cell deployments in industrial scenarios," says Bill Rojas, adjunct research director, IDC Asia/Pacific Communications Group. He further adds "Industrial spaces such as factories with lots of AGVs and AMRs will be characterized by the need for high bandwidth and low latency, and these will best be served with an active 5G small cell architecture."

Please Note: Extended description available upon request.

Executive Snapshot
New Market Developments and Dynamics
Who Is Actually Responsible for Indoor Coverage in Commercial and Residential Properties?
Case Study: Hongkong Land — World's First Multi-Operator, Neutral Host DAS, 1997
Passive DAS Versus Small Cell Active DAS and Hybrid DAS
Business Models for Shared Indoor Infrastructure
Neutral Host — CBRS (United States)
Small Cell Sharing Models
Multi-Operator Small Cells — Neutral Host
Hosted Open RAN
Advanced 5G Indoor Technologies
mmWave Can Also Be Used for Indoor Deployments
Case Study: 5G Indoor in Northeast Asia
Case Study: SoFi Stadium (Los Angeles, California)
Future Outlook
Coexistence Between 4G Indoor and Active 5G DAS and the Role of the Edge
Outlook for Neutral Host
Regulation and Industry Collaboration Are Vital
The Next Generation of DAS Will Support Both mmWave and Sub-Terahertz
Advice for the Technology Supplier and Integrator
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