Nokia said the new solution is aimed at lowering carriers’ deployment costs

Nokia and China Mobile Research Institute have launched what they claim is the industry’s first hybrid indoor radio solution with location services, to meet 5G connectivity demands inside large buildings such as business campuses and shopping malls.

Nokia said that the jointly developed 5G hybrid distributed indoor system is aimed at lowering operators’ deployment costs.

Research conducted by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) shows that 70% of the consumption of 5G business applications will take place indoors, with high-value customers likely to spend 80% of their working hours in an indoor environment. As a result, indoor coverage has become a key area for operators to develop new 5G services. China Mobile has been using distributed antenna systems (DAS) for 4G indoor coverage and wanted a solution that would meet the demands of 5G while reducing costs as it introduces innovative new services, Nokia said.

Nokia and China Mobile jointly developed the 5G low-cost hybrid distributed indoor system to meet these challenges. This smart indoor coverage system leverages the Nokia 5G Pico Remote Radio Head system together with passive DAS antennas and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. The new solution reduces deployment costs to the levels associated with traditional passive-only DAS systems, while delivering greater capacity than DAS, the European vendor added.

The new services enabled include weak coverage analysis, indoor positioning, traffic flow analysis, easy expansion and elastic scalability. In a shopping mall, the location services can enable functions such as remote security monitoring and the ability to send shoppers information about busy locations to avoid congestion. Additionally, the integration of third-party services such as geofencing and hot-spot identification will enable retailers to send coupons and store information to customers in a mall who have opted in to the service.

“China Mobile is committed to delivering the best user experience for mobile applications empowered by innovative technologies. Our collaborations with Nokia Shanghai Bell, along with the innovations jointly achieved, will help us maintain the leading position in 5G coverage and capacity while effectively lowering implementation costs,” said Zhang Xinwang, senior researcher at China Mobile Research Institute.

“Nokia is committed to working closely with China Mobile as a long-term technology partner, and the launch of the innovative hybrid system is a strong testament to our work. As a leader in 5G, Nokia will continue to build on its technology momentum to help China Mobile evolve its network to meet its business and consumer customers’ increasing demands in the 5G world,” said Chang Jiang, CTO of customer operations at Nokia Shanghai Bell.

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