Qualcomm employed an acquisition of Cellwize to power a new 5G macro platform it claimed reduced the cost of outdoor mmWave base stations while also increasing the range.

The vendor claimed its Compact Macro 5G platform can boost the range of compatible mmWave deployments by up to 240 per cent.

Qualcomm explained the platform is designed to reduce base station equipment costs by up to 50 per cent compared with other mmWave offerings, tipping benefits for companies targeting fixed wireless (FWA) access deployments in urban and rural areas, along with enterprises.

Gerardo Giaretta, VP of product management for Qualcomm, told analysts the platform could deliver up to 60bdm of peak effective isotropic radiated power in a small, cost-efficient form factor.

It runs the baseband chip from Qualcomm’s small-cell FSM 5G RAN platform coupled with macro-grade antennas covering up to 256 elements.

Giaretta stated sample shipments of the platform are due in Q1 2023, with commercial deployments in H2.

Analyst views
Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner welcomed Qualcomm’s use of Cellwize technology and backed the US chip maker to “do well in this area”, noting the platform covered more bands than products from main rival Intel.

J Gold Associates founder and principal analyst Jack Gold told Mobile World Live Qualcomm has “an advantage in mmWave” which could be a benefit against 5G modem competitors including MediaTek, and potentially Marvell Technology and Broadcom.

He stated most FWA deployments to date were in mid-band or C-Band and not mmWave.

“The bottom line for me is, which equipment vendors feel confident enough in building-out mmWave FWA at this point and which service providers are betting on it?”

“This is a new market that has yet to emerge. It has huge potential, but we’ll have to see how it develops”.

Gold named Ericsson, Nokia, Cisco and Huawei as infrastructure vendors which could be interested in Qualcomm’s latest platform, but noted the greatest demand might also come from “non-traditional equipment guys that are start-ups trying to make a mark in smart cities and venues”.

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