At the recent MWC Los Angeles conference, Samsung Networks announced its first millimeter-wave integrated wireless access unit (AU) that meets the 3GPP 5G NR standard, foreign media reported. Samsung said the AU product supports the 28GHz spectrum, and Verizon has confirmed it will become the first carrier to use the device in a 5G deployment.
Verizon accounts for the vast majority of the 28GHz spectrum in the U.S. market, and the carrier has made initial 5G deployments on that spectrum, while other operators rely on 39GHz and other spectrums.
In this AU, Samsung combines RF units, antennas and digital units in a single box to make them more compact. Samsung says this could simplify installation of streetlight poles and building walls to help speed up infrastructure deployments.
Derek Johnston, Samsung’s chief executive, said most of the infrastructure deployed in the U.S., including the vendor’s own first-generation 5G base station, included separate RF and digital units. The digital units used for baseband processing are typically located at the bottom of the communication tower and are connected to fiber optics, requiring a forward connection from the digital unit to the RF unit.
Picture: Samsung’s new 5G NR AU product.
“With this new NR device, we’re going to eliminate the prequel. As a result, it will reduce the need for fiber optics for operators. Derek Johnston added that the 5G AU device is more compact, 25 per cent smaller than its previous generation and is more energy efficient. According to Samsung, the device can provide 10Gbps throughput.
This product has a 4T4R solution. Derek Johnston points out that this will give operators more capacity, greater coverage and greater capabilities.
Samsung is also said to be developing products that support other millimeter wave bands, including 24GHz, 26GHz and 39GHz.
The release of the 5G AU coincides with the release of Samsung’s first 5G NR SoC modem.