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Qualcomm, Movandi partnership demonstrates shared mmWave vision

Qualcomm, Movandi partnership demonstrates shared mmWave vision

Movandi CEO and Founder says that the mmWave market needs more alliances like the one it forged with Qualcomm

Qualcomm and Movandi are teaming up to generate more momentum around 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) technology by combining the capabilities of mmWave small cells powered by Qualcomm FSM 5G RAN Platforms and Movandi-powered 5G smart repeaters to lower the cost of deployment and extend the high-frequency spectrum’s coverage. Both companies are strong advocates for mmWave’s potential, and therefore, according to Movandi’s CEO and Founder Maryam Rofougaran, the partnership just makes sense.

“This market needs more alliances,” Rofougaran told RCR Wireless News. “Qualcomm has really good system solutions that are going into small cells and they are committed to infrastructure. I think we both have the same vision, and we both believe that 5G [mmWave] has real potential, unlike what everyone keeps saying.”

The companies are aligned in their commitment and confidence in mmWave, which is not always the popular opinion. 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 certain situations, primarily indoors and for things like vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communications.

When Movandi installed its BeamXR-powered mmWave repeater inside a car that drove around high-density service areas in San Jose, California, and achieved greater than 10x performance gains with an average throughput of 1.5 gigabits per second (Gbps), the company claimed it had put some of the debate about mmWave’s potential to bed. By amplifying mmWave coverage, the company’s BeamXR smart repeater technology helps to close the gap in 5G mmWave in public spaces and inside buildings and by penetrating physical barriers in dense urban environments.

Qualcomm likely felt similarly when it demonstrated FRTek’s PrimAer 28 GHz smart repeater at its 2021 Snapdragon Tech Summit, using Verizon’s mmWave network to conduct the industry’s first 8K HDR live video streaming using Snapdragon 8 powered reference smartphones in a video call that took place between Qualcomm President and CEO Cristiano Amon in Hawaii and Verizon CTO Kyle Malady in New Jersey.

But still, the limited coverage and poor penetration of mmWave means a high cost of deployment if a service provider is looking to provided adequate mmWave coverage using only small cells.  

“So, the value that [Movandi and Qualcomm] bring is how [our] solutions can help with extending the range and at the same time accelerate deployment because [repeaters] are easy to install,” said Rofougaran.

Further, some of the very weaknesses of mmWave can prove to be strengths in indoor environments: “The penetration issue, the line-of-sight issue, these could actually be advantages in some cases because you can actually control the signal better,” she said, adding that mmWave can even ensure better network security because the frequencies won’t penetrate too much beyond the walls of an enterprise or business.

“This collaboration reflects the next step in both companies’ shared commitment to accelerate 5G mmWave deployments,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager of Mobile, Compute and Infrastructure, Qualcomm said in a press release. “Qualcomm Technologies’ core 5G strategy focuses on delivering the most advanced technology and purpose-built solutions. Our work with Movandi will focus on expanding the adoption of 5G mmWave to improve performance and user experience.”

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