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Corning, Qualcomm partner to create 5G mmWave in-building network systems

Corning Incorporated and Qualcomm Technologies recently announced a partnership to develop 5G mmWave infrastructure systems for enterprises and public venues and accelerate in-building 5G deployment.

The 5G systems are designed to combine Qualcomm’s 5G and mmWave technology leadership with Corning’s small cell expertise to deliver affordable and easy-to-install 5G-ready indoor networks. Corning’s hardware has developed a reputation for its small, elegant, low-power packages, and its goal is for its customers to receive the same with this 5G solution supported by Qualcomm Technologies 4G and 5G RAN offerings. The company’s current 4G customers are expected to enjoy the benefits of 5G via a simple process that enables 5G-NSA service to their installations.

Solving the in-building 5G deployment issue

This collaboration is significant to commercial real estate owners because at some point their tenants will be expect their building to be 5G-friendly. Unlike previous generations of wireless networks, in-building 5G signals will need a dedicated indoor solution. Currently less than 10 percent of buildings in the United States have such a solution. The physics involved with the spectrum of 5G will likely require enterprise network upgrades or installations, which can be an inconvenience for CRE owners and information technology (IT) managers.

That’s why Corning and Qualcomm have teamed up to develop a cost-effective and easy-to-install 5G mmWave solution. The Corning systems are expected to be among the first that are designed to deliver 5G—NR (new radio) capability over mmWave spectrum in the in-building segment that includes office buildings, university and college campuses, hospitals, hotels, shopping center and more. Additionally, the 5G systems will leverage Corning’s virtualized RAN architecture to manage the attached mmWave small cells.

Qualcomm’s® FSM100xx 5G RAN platform will also grant Corning access to mmWave capabilities. These capabilities are designed to facilitate small, powerful and power-efficient mmWave infrastructure for cost-effective and scalable indoor deployments.

“Corning and Qualcomm Technologies have a history of delivering infrastructure innovation spanning LTE, LTE-U/LAA, CBRS and more,” Qualcomm Technologies Senior Director, Product Management Puneet Sethi said in a statement. “We are now pleased to be ramping our fruitful relationship with Corning into the 5G era. We expect this marriage of Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G mmWave technology leadership with Corning’s industry-proven small cell and enterprise expertise to deliver the capacity and performance benefits of 5G mmWave indoors, via development of cost effective, powerful and scalable 5G mmWave infrastructure.”

New partnership will open doors to new implementation capabilities

The Qualcomm-Corning relationship is expected to allow Corning to implement new functionality around features like beamforming (the art of focusing a wireless signal to a specific device) and advanced scheduling that support the indoor environment’s unique characteristics. Mobile operators are expected to deploy 5G-NSA services quickly once they join Corning’s LTE based Enterprise RAN systems based on the Qualcomm FSM99xx 4G RAN platform.

“Corning has decades of experience designing, installing, and conditioning advanced cellular networks,” Corning Optical Communications Vice president, Wireless Product Line Management Michelle Engarto said in a statement. “Our experience in network design and knowledge of varying and distinct customer requirements will benefit customers as we navigate the complexities associated with 5G mmWave indoors. By combining the technology leadership and experience from Corning and Qualcomm Technologies, we aim to offer a compelling and affordable solution for 5G mmWave systems specifically developed with the enterprise in mind.”

The company’s plan to release details on the commercial availability of Corning’s new enterprise platform will be provided later this year. Learn more about Corning’s in-building network solutions here.

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