Samsung Electronics unveiled a new integrated 5G mmWave small cell for indoor use as part of the company’s full suite of 5G in-building products, Samsung Link. Samsung said its new 5G indoor small cell dubbed “Link Cell” will help provide enhanced 5G experiences to users in indoor environments. It provides 5G-powered applications within enterprises, including manufacturing or distribution facilities, corporate offices, and entertainment or public venues (such as shopping centres, stadiums or hotels). Link Cell is among the first commercial products available globally that provides wireless operators with a mmWave indoor small cell. It includes the Qualcomm 5G RAN platform, which builds on the collaboration between Qualcomm Technologies and Samsung.
Durga Malladi, Senior Vice President and General Manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm Technologies said:
“Small cells are an excellent vehicle to deliver the incredible speed, capacity and low latency benefits of 5G mmWave to indoor locations. We are very pleased to continue our long standing relationship with Samsung to support development of high-performance 5G small cell infrastructure that addresses the challenging power and size requirements for enterprise deployments, using Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G RAN Modem-RF technology.”
Link Cell gives wireless network operators a way to extend 5G service into businesses and venues. It’s also a critical component for future private 5G networks in enterprises, such as manufacturing, healthcare, retail and warehouse facilities. That’s a market segment AT&T wants to penetrate for its 5G services, including extending their 5G network indoors.
Photo Credit: Samsung Electronics
Verizon will be the first U.S. wireless network operator to commercially deploy Samsung’s Link Cell, which the wireless provider will use to extend the footprint of its 5G Ultra Wideband network. This marks a new phase in delivering enterprise private 5G networks, and advancing next generation mobile technology use cases and applications. Verizon recently said lab trials were underway with Samsung to test the product, along with field tests of an in-building 5G cell site from Corning.
The first version of Samsung’s Link Cell will support 28GHz and has the functionality to combine four 100MHz bandwidth of frequencies, offering high capacity and ultra-fast download speeds. Moreover, it brings together a radio, antenna and digital unit into one compact box, and is less than 4 liters in volume, one of the smallest in the industry.
Link Cell offers fast and easy indoor installation; it can be discretely placed on walls or ceilings, similar to a Wi-Fi access point, while minimising noise through fanless convection cooling. Designed to self-organise, Link Cell will adjust for optimal RF performance, allowing mobile applications to operate within a facility or—as applications transition from a macro 5G network outside to the in-building network—maintain high-quality communications continuity. Link Cell is available now for wireless operators to purchase for use in commercial rollouts.
Commenting on the Link Cell, Jaeho Jeon, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, said:
“Today, we are excited to unveil Samsung Link for wireless operators to expand the capabilities of 5G networks and seamlessly link together outdoor and indoor 5G experiences. As one of the first commercial 5G mmWave indoor small cells, Link Cell will enable wireless operators and enterprises to bring 5G services to various offices, facilities and venue locations.”
“Verizon continues to rapidly advance our 5G deployment, and the addition of indoor cell sites will extend the availability of the fastest 5G service in the U.S. This is a key step in providing industry-changing, scalable, latency-sensitive, robust 5G solutions for enterprises,” said Adam Koeppe, senior vice president of Technology Planning and Development at Verizon, in a statement. “The addition of indoor cell sites will extend the availability of the fastest 5G service in the U.S,” he added.
Verizon was the first to deploy Samsung’s 5G NR integrated mmWave access unit, which helped hit 4.2 Gbps speeds during a live network demo in February. Samsung is also working with Verizon on network virtualization, providing its commercial 5G vRAN solution. That might be part of the $6.65B contract Samsung recently was awarded by Verizon.
The new Samsung Link portfolio features several products to help businesses address indoor 5G service needs. In addition to Link Cell, Samsung will deliver products supporting other indoor needs and spectrums. Link Hub and Link HubPro provide low and mid-band support to operators and enterprises.
Link Hub is designed for venues with existing Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), providing low and mid-band 5G service across an existing in-building infrastructure. Link HubPro is an active antenna system, which includes a hub and indoor radios for mid-to-large enterprises with support for various spectrum options. Link Hub and Link HubPro are expected to begin commercial rollouts beginning 1Q 2021.