Ubicquia and Movandi Deploy 5G Networks with the First mmWave Streetlight Repeater

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

May 03, 2022


Ubicquia and Movandi Deploy 5G Networks with the First mmWave Streetlight Repeater

Ubicquia, Inc. a company dedicated to making intelligent infrastructure platforms that are simple to deploy and monitor announced a strategic partnership with Movandi Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement, Ubicquia will leverage Movandi’s technology to create a mmWave smart repeater that plugs into a streetlight’s photocell socket in minutes. 

mmWave frequencies provide the gigabit per second throughputs promised by 5G and needed to keep pace with evolving capacity demands. In the US, for example, network operators have spent $4.5 billion to acquire it. While mmWave technology enables up to 100 times more capacity than current 5G mid-band spectrum, its propagation distance is typically less than 250 meters, and it does not turn corners or penetrate buildings. As a result, 5G mmWave networks will require many more sites than mid-band networks. This creates challenging deployment economics, especially in less populated areas. With its mmWave Streetlight Repeater, Ubicquia changes that.  

The Ubicquia mmWave Streetlight Repeater with Movandi 5G RF technologies:

  • Uses existing streetlights and their persistent power, 50 meter spacing, and 8–10-meter heights to make millions of site-ready locations available at a fraction of the time and money than building new poles for 5G radio base stations (gNBs) and pulling fiber to them.
  • Installs in minutes, is barely visible at street level, and is configured and managed in the cloud to make deployments fast, simple, and requiring just one trip to the pole.
  • Meets utility power, protection, metering, weight, and wind loading requirements.
  • Ensures optimal outdoor coverage and user experiences by extending the range of 5G mmWave gNBs and redirecting its signals around obstacles.
  • Locks onto host RAN signals automatically to ensure repeater-to-repeater connectivity without the need for fiber connectivity to the core network.
  • Integrates with all major RAN/Open RAN technologies, including Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, and Samsung, and supports all global mmWave spectrum bands.
  • Features Movandi’s proven mmWave 5G RF technology and reference design platforms including RF semiconductors, custom phase array antenna modules, algorithms and software including cloud APIs for management, control, and AI/ML data analytics.

Joe Madden, Principal Analyst at Mobile Experts, summarized his analysis in a recent white paper Streetlight Mounted mmWave Radios Transform Coverage Economics: “Streetlight mounted repeaters present an incredible opportunity to dramatically speed up deployment schedules, streamline many regulatory and installation approval steps, and save money. In our assessment of a small city requiring 950 new 5G mmWave radio base stations (gNBs) for full coverage, we found that using 100 streetlight mounted gNBs and 850 repeaters reduces 10-year TCO by over $13 million or 35% and by $89 million or 80% compared to a gNB only utility pole configuration. Our conclusion is that streetlight deployment is absolutely the way to go.”

For more information, visit: movandi.com and www.ubicquia.com 

Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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