The group develops the world’s first distributed 5G indoor antenna system

ETRI researchers review the performance of the indoor 5G optical repeater. Credit: Research Institute for Electronics and Telecommunications (ETRI)

Researchers in Korea have developed an important networking technology that allows users to seamlessly enjoy 5G services indoors. This is expected to be of great help in expanding the 5G coverage area and further improving the domestic telecommunications infrastructure.

The Research Institute for Electronics and Telecommunications (ETRI) announced that it has successfully developed the world’s first distributed 5G indoor antenna system that can receive millimeter-wave (28 GHz) -based broadband 5G signals from base stations and transmit them inside buildings.

About 80% of the mobile data used in daily life is used indoors. This new technology enables access to 5G technology at a maximum speed of 20 Gbit / s in indoor areas such as airports, train stations and large shopping centers. In particular, this new technology significantly improves the transmission capacity, the device size and the deployment costs compared to the conventional technology and is expected to have a wide range of applications.

The core of the technology developed by the researchers includes RoF technology and 5G base station interface technology. The RoF technology, which converts wireless 5G signals into optical signals and transmits them without distortion over a maximum distance of up to 5 km. On the other hand, there is the 5G base station interface technology, which connects a 5G base station outdoors and a distributed antenna system indoors using OTA technology.

The 5G base station interface installed on the roof of the apartment receives 5G signals from nearby base stations, converts them into optical signals in the basement of the apartment using RoF technology, and then transmits them to several antennas that are distributed in all areas of each floor of the building.

Since this technology can deliver 5G signals by multiplexing them into 32 bands, its transmission capacity is very high. Construction costs can be reduced by five times compared to previous systems, since only relatively simple functions are required.

The researchers showed that they designed a notebook-sized RoF optical transceiver and installed it in the host unit and antenna unit that make up the indoor distributed antenna system. The 5G base station interface technology was also developed in the form of an independent module the size of a laptop so that it can be easily connected to the host unit.

ETRI researchers review the performance of the indoor 5G optical repeater. Credit: Research Institute for Electronics and Telecommunications (ETRI)

According to the research team, the recent use of radio frequency bands and the rapid increase in high capacity data have led to the adoption of RoF technology, which has been studied since the 1990s, and they have been able to accomplish this feat based on this data collected from the original technology and know-how. how.

ETRI demonstrated the world’s first millimeter wave-based 5G pilot service on a distributed 5G indoor antenna system technology at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang in February 2018. At this point, 5G signals were multiplexed into two bands but updated to match the current level.

“We hope this technology will help create an ecosystem of new convergent industries such as interactive entertainment and smart factories and rejuvenate the stagnant domestic industrial ecosystem related to repeaters for mobile communications, while ensuring quality of service and eliminating radio transmission. ” shaded indoor areas, “said Sunmi Kim, director of ETRI’s network research division.

The research team is also conducting studies on building technologies for next generation communication infrastructures to provide 6G cellular networks beyond 5G in future indoor spaces. It is planned to secure future intellectual property rights and advance the development of related domestic industries while developing next-generation 6G communication network technology based on ultra-wide frequency bands.

Companies that received technology from ETRI have now exported related products to Japan and the United States through active marketing. As a result, ETRI’s technology is helping to build 5G infrastructure around the world.

Improving the performance of future 5G cellular networks

Provided by the National Research Council for Science and Technology

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