Movandi installed a 5G mmWave repeater inside a car that drove around high-density service areas in San Jose
Earlier this week, Movandi announced a successful demonstration of 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) repeaters inside a moving vehicle, advancing vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communications for the next generation of connected cars. The company’s CEO and co-founder Maryam Rofougaran told RCR Wireless News that mmWave repeaters used in this way have the potential to impact how quickly “get to where we want to be with the autonomous cars.”
Movandi installed its BeamXR-powered mmWave repeater inside a car that drove around high-density service areas in San Jose, California, achieving greater than 10x performance gains with an average throughput of 1.5 gigabits per second (Gbps) on the Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network, the carrier’s name for its mmWave network. Test results showed a 25X throughput improvement compared to a typical 4G LTE service.
“Through in-vehicle testing of Movandi powered repeaters in real-world conditions, we’ve proven that our mmWave technology provides a ready to go solution for extending 5G coverage, whether it’s fixed or mobile, for a vastly improved user experience. Today we showed our technology is ready for mass scale deployment in connected vehicles,” Rofougaran said in a press release.
She explained that Movandi optimized the performance of the BeamX mmWave powered repeaters specifically for automotive applications by “holistically tailoring the 5G radio as a complete system.” The company also co-designed the RF chipset, DSP functions, beamforming and algorithms and partnered with Airfide Networks, a 5G software innovator, to develop the handoff algorithm, which she said makes the repeaters “highly effective in rapid signal transfers.”
In the early days of 5G, many focused on the propagation and penetration challenges of mmWave, viewing sub-6 GHz technology as the only feasible 5G option for mobile connectivity in cars. However, according to Rofougaran, the speed that mmWave can provide is important for achieving true autonomous vehicles.
She did acknowledge, though, that mmWave is still hard to find. In fact, Opensignal recently found that, over a 90-day period, Verizon 5G users spent a mean time connected to mmWave of 0.8% compared with 0.5% on AT&T and T-Mobile.
“Despite seeing some extremely fast download and upload speeds across the mmWave 5G networks in the U.S., our data shows that it is still rare for users to experience the blisteringly fast mmWave 5G speeds,” the report stated.
As a result, she agreed with the previous claim made by SureCall’s founder & CEO Hongtao Zhan that in five years, a large percentage of millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G networks will be made up of signal amplifiers, such as repeaters or boosters.
“Whether its 60% or 80%,” she said, “a good portion of indoor and outdoor repeaters will be used to enable this market.”
And, from the perspective of Moor Insights & Strategy’s Principal Analyst Patrick Moorhead, the broader deployment mmWave technology is a “key component to expanding 5G adoption for connected and autonomous vehicles.”
“As 5G interfaces displace legacy generations of telematics controls, 5G will spur the introduction of new automotive infotainment services and more data-rich cloud connectivity,” he continued. “In the coming years, 5G mmWave solutions will enable an array of C-V2X innovations. Automotive systems will communicate with each other and with gNB infrastructure, greatly enhancing road safety, improving traffic flow and enabling autonomous driving.”
Fortunately, Movandi has big plans in this space. “This is just the beginning,” Rofougaran assured RCR. “We are thinking of going mesh with this product to add capacity and lower cost. I can see one day this space resembling with what you do with Wi-Fi today, but with more capable throughput and latency.”