Published on December 7th, 2022 | by Adrian Gunning
Qualcomm Announces Long-Range Compact Macro Platform for Cost-Effective Outdoor mmWave Deployments
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. today introduced the Qualcomm® Compact Macro 5G RAN Platform to address burgeoning demand for streamlined, high-performance, cost-effective, and energy efficient outdoor infrastructure for mobility and Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). Addressing priority cost and range metrics for wide area mmWave coverage, this new platform leverages the Qualcomm® FSM™ 5G RAN Platform for Small Cells, while featuring macro-grade antenna module support with 256 antenna elements, delivering up to 60dBm of peak EIRP and up to 1 GHz of spectrum. This powerful combination of small cell expertise for streamlined design, together with macro cell antenna expertise for high-power, long-range mmWave coverage, facilitates a new class of compact macro cells for outdoor deployments at an attractive price point.
mmWave holds enormous potential for wide area outdoor 5G networks, though addressing TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) challenges is critical for it to reach its full potential. The new Qualcomm Compact Macro 5G RAN Platform aims to address these challenges head-on, offering long-range performance enhancements for compact macro products that more than double the range capabilities, compared to small cells designed with the Qualcomm FSM 5G RAN Platform, significantly reducing the number of cell sites needed for wide area coverage. Further, by evolving the Qualcomm FSM 5G RAN Platform for Small Cells, this compact macro solution is able to address common power efficiency, size, and cost complexities of comparable macro solutions, making deployments more accessible.
Notably, the solution is designed to fuel deployment growth of mmWave infrastructure by drastically reducing barriers to delivering wide area coverage and capacity. By facilitating up to 50% base station equipment cost reduction for a given coverage area, compared to similar high-power mmWave macro solutions, these compact macro cell capabilities deliver value that will be instrumental across critical use cases, including:
- Mobility: mmWave is extremely resilient to congestion, making it ideal for providing reliable, responsive, and high-speed service to subscribers, even in high-traffic outdoor urban areas. By reducing the infrastructure cost of high-performance outdoor mmWave base stations, Mobile Network Operators are able to deliver breakthrough wireless performance more cost-effectively than ever before for a new era of connected experiences.
- Fixed Wireless Access (Wireless Fiber): The number of homes, offices, coffee shops, and other locations that can be connected to a single outdoor base station is a critical factor for FWA. With a high-value mix of long-range performance and cost-effectiveness, the Qualcomm Compact Macro 5G RAN Platform addresses critical KPIs, providing high-capacity wireless broadband access to urban, suburban, and rural homes as well as enterprises. Further, by streamlining the delivery of broadband access to rural and often underserved areas, as well as enabling more homes to be connected for a given investment, Qualcomm Technologies, along with infrastructure customers, is taking another step toward closing the digital divide.
“Building on our 5G infrastructure and mmWave leadership, we are pleased to announce a new long-range outdoor platform for compact macro cells that present our customers and operators with a cost-to-performance paradigm highly differentiated from traditional macro solutions,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, cellular modems and infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
“This innovative solution will streamline deployments and accelerate mmWave adoption by providing the range, performance, energy efficiency, and form factor our partners need at an attractive price point. We’re thrilled to extend our technology leadership and expertise to help the ecosystem fully realize the benefits of mmWave for outdoor 5G networks.”
The new Qualcomm Compact Macro 5G RAN Platform is expected to start sampling to customers in the first quarter of 2023.