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Analysys Mason recommends 5G indoor coverage with performance equal to that of outdoor to develop services

Analysys Mason

In research on mobile phone advancements, Analysys Mason underlines that, with the arrival of 5G, it’s essential to design coverage for indoor and outdoor spaces as one network to guarantee equal performance and implementation.

In research on mobile phone advancements, Analysys Mason – the leading firm in the Telecom sector – underlines that, with the arrival of 5G, it’s essential to design coverage for indoor and outdoor spaces as one network to guarantee equal performance and implementation. It’s the only way for companies, individuals and TELCO to all get the most out of the technology.

According to the author, analyst Caroline Gabriel, the performance and user experience of mobile services indoors – inside offices, hospitals, schools, shops – “cannot play a secondary role in the 5G era if we want to satisfy companies’ needs.

For previous generations of mobile networks, writes Ms. Gabriel, outdoor implementation took precedence over indoor. This often caused users to get a strong, reliable signal when moving around outdoors, but performance left much to be desired when indoors. Dropped calls, no signal or interrupted data transmission rendered ineffectual many companies’ efforts to implement mobile-first strategies as part of their digitalization programs. It also limited operators’ ability to monetize their networks.

As technologies, like DAS, that guarantee equal indoor-outdoor performance do exist, we need to avoid making the same mistake with 5G. 

The new standard for mobile provides an even broader range of applications and supports countless usage scenarios. It’s crucial to the success of digital transformation initiatives in many sectors and for society as a whole. Thus, indoor and outdoor experiences must be very high quality, otherwise new means of work, communication, study and entertainment – from extended reality to sensor-based automation – cannot be realized.

According to Ms. Gabriel, with 5G, telecom operators and companies are strongly motivated to invest in in-building mobile networks exactly as they invest in outdoor networks. Wherever the user experience must be fluid and optimal both in and out-of-doors, indoor and outdoor coverage must be designed and implemented as a single network, not using two separate networks, because it’s the only way to provide a holistic experience and a common set of applications.

Obviously, it’s not easy. Indoor mobile phone systems “behave” differently from outdoor ones. For example, they have different backhaul requirements. They must often support a greater number of connected devices and people per square meter and may need to integrate with other IT systems, like LAN or edge computing.

Technologies have progressed over time to meet the needs of indoor coverage, but none of the previous mobile tech generations had completely effective performance solutions, nor achieved perfect alignment with outdoor networks. Now, with DAS (Distributed Antenna System) and other advanced systems, indoor networks can be created that offer optimal indoor coverage, guaranteeing visitors in extremely crowded spaces a user experience equal to, if not better than, their experience out-of-doors.