Samsung Electronics recently launched Link Cell, a new integrated 5G mmWave (millimeter wave) small cell for indoor use. The Link Cell solution will be part of Samsung Link, the company’s suite of 5G in-building products. Link Cell’s goal is to provide indoor mobile device users with a seamless and enhanced 5G experience. The solution is designed to bring 5G-powered applications within enterprises such as manufacturing and distribution facilities, corporate offices and entertainment venues like shopping centers, stadiums and hotels. It is useful for carriers that are using high-band frequencies such as Verizon.
Link Cell is also one of the first commercial products that’s available globally that provides wireless operators with a mmWave indoor small cell. Wireless operators can extend their 5G services into businesses and venues and could be a key component for commercial real estate owners’ private 5G networks in sectors like manufacturing, healthcare and retail.
“We are excited to unveil Samsung Link for wireless operators to expand the capabilities of 5G networks and seamlessly link together outdoor and indoor 5G experiences,” Samsung Electronics Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Networks Business Jaeho Jeon said in a statement. “As one of the first commercial 5G mmWave indoor small cells, Link Cell will enable wireless operators and enterprises to bring 5G services to various offices, facilities and venue locations.”
How Samsung’s Link Cell works
The initial version of Samsung’s Link Cell solution will support 28GHz and can combine four 100MHz bandwidth of frequencies that will offer high capacity and ultra-fast download speeds. Additionally, Link Cell brings together a radio, antenna and digital unit into one box that is less than four liters in volume—one of the smallest solutions in the industry. Link Cell can also be installed indoors quickly and placed discretely on walls or ceilings.
“These are the enterprise grade solution,” Samsung Head of Marketing and 5G Business Development Derek Johnston told Connected Real Estate Magazine. “They are similarly designed to Wi-Fi access points, so it’s discrete—they’re convection cooled, so there’s no fans. You can also put in multiple units, depending on your facility, so they’ll self-organized and attenuate based on the macro network so they’re not creating another interference.”
Samsung Link Cell has a lot of intelligence built into it to ensure in-building users are getting the best service possible, according to Johnston. That intelligence allows the units to “hand off” between each other within an in-building network, so that users’ mobile devices have the ability to easily transition from 5G to the building’s macro wireless network when necessary.
Verizon to deploy Samsung’s Link Cell
Samsung announced that Verizon will be the first U.S. wireless operator to commercially deploy its Link Cell solution. Verizon will use Link Cell to extend its 5G Ultra Wideband network’s footprint. Both Verizon and Samsung see the deployment as a big step towards delivering enterprise private 5G networks and advancing next generation cellular technology use cases and applications. Verizon recently conducted 5G in-building solution lab trials that included the Samsung Link portfolio. The carrier said it expects to deploy an in-building commercial product by the end of 2020.
“Verizon continues to rapidly advance our 5G deployment, and the addition of indoor cell sites will extend the availability of the fastest 5G service in the U.S.,” Verizon Senior Vice President of Technology Planning and Development Adam Koeppe said in a statement. “This is a key step in providing industry-changing, scalable, latency-sensitive, robust 5G solutions for enterprises.”
Samsung Link portfolio addresses other in-building network needs
Samsung will also deliver its Link Hub and Link HubPro solutions to support CRE owners’ other indoor needs and spectrums. Link Hub and Link HubPro provide low and mid-band support to operators and enterprises. LinkHub is designed for venues that have a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) in place and provide low and mid-band 5G service throughout an entire in-building infrastructure. Meanwhile, LinkHubPro is an active antenna system. It includes a hub and indoor radios for mid-to-large enterprises that can support different spectrum options. Commercial rollouts for both of solutions are expected to begin in early 2021.
“As we start to roll these (solutions) out, they will provide a better capability,” Johnston told Connected. “Hopefully we can educate the market and broaden availability so people can get these solutions and it’s a bit more seamless to access and then integrate into their property.”
Joe Dyton can be reached at joed@fifthgenmedia