Analyst: 5G core will rely on in-building wireless elements including DAS/DRS, small cells

ABI Research asserts that in-building wireless systems of the future will deliver high bandwidth backhaul and fronthaul to accommodate the very high data rates inherent in LTE and LTE-Advanced.

Smart city IoT pioneers seen leveraging standards, open source, and AI elements
Smart city IoT pioneers seen leveraging standards, open source, and AI elements

The latest report from ABI Research lays bare the impact of elements including 3GPP progression, virtualization, traffic steering and network convergence on in-building wireless architectures, as operators struggle with mobile broadband approaching 70% penetration.

The new study, entitled Next Generation In-Building Wireless: Converging, Virtualizing, and Balancing the Road to 5G, is a companion to ABI's recently published DAS Rises to the Small Cell Challenge report. The new report continues the discussion of innovations in distributed antenna systems (DAS), distributed radio systems (DRS) and small cell architectures for medium to large-building vertical segments. The new report builds on the previous one in outlining the impact of major trends affecting DAS, DRS, and small cell architectures.

“In order to be included with the features inherent in the progression of the 3GPP standards, ABI Research asserts that in-building wireless systems of the future will deliver high bandwidth backhaul and fronthaul to accommodate the very high data rates inherent in LTE and LTE-Advanced,” comments Nick Marshall, Research Director, Networks at ABI Research. “We also expect that DAS and small cells will virtualize as a means of partitioning architectures to accommodate available transport and reduce system complexity.”

The firm's contention is that these “virtualized” DAS or small cells systems become DRS, which distributes the radio and antenna and centralizes the baseband. In contrast, DAS distributes the antenna, and small cells distribute the baseband, radio and antenna. In this way the DRS blends the best of both DAS and small cells to lay the groundwork for high data rate LTE-Advanced and 5G.

Part of ABI’s In-Building Wireless Market research, the new report also discusses this market in general and profiles 18 companies active in it. Small cell vendors discussed include Airvana, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, ip.access, NEC, Nextivity, Nokia, and SpiderCloud. DAS vendors profiled include Axell, Commscope, Corning, Dali Wireless, Kathrein, SOLiD, TE Connectivity, and Zinwave.

Learn more about the report.

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