LIVE FROM CCA ANNUAL CONVENTION, ORLANDO, FLORIDA: Operators looking to build 5G networks using mmWave spectrum are in dire need of new network models and management tools to meet the demands of increasing complexity, executives from Ericsson and US operator C Spire warned.
Speaking during a panel session, Ericsson VP of network product solutions Paul Challoner (pictured, second from left) acknowledged there are existing planning tools for radio networks, but noted some of those don’t translate to mmWave. He added vendors are developing new modelling techniques which take into account factors including impediments like foliage, along with reflection and refraction patterns to better calculate propagation in mmWave bands.
“It’s not just a see it to serve it line-of-sight technology. But in order to be able to plan your network, you need planning tools that are able to do that, which involves having very detailed geographic databases plus sophisticated RF planning algorithms to do that. It’s tough and it’s heavy lifting for the industry.”
Craig Sparks, chief innovation officer at C Spire (pictured, far right), added automation will also be key to relieve some of the burden increased complexity puts on RF engineers trying to maintain the network.
“When you come down into neighbourhoods, just the planning tools have to be highly automated in terms of lidar, in terms of optics and all of those links and self-healing networks and the mesh. We have to put a lot of pressure on the technology providers to let those networks be automatically designed and automatically cared for and fed and very resilient in terms of losing links and losing nodes.”
“The RF engineers cannot at that level chase individual homes. It has to actually work on its own and keep care of itself.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back