Qualcomm and ITRI team up to develop 5G small cells in Taiwan

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Qualcomm Technologies has announced its intent to collaborate on 5G NR-enabled small cell technologies with Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

Qualcomm says the collaboration is expected to accelerate delivery and global commercialization of 5G NR small cell products and infrastructure by Taiwanese OEMs and ODMs.

Jim Cathey, senior vice president and president of Asia Pacific & India at Qualcomm International, said the joint effort with ITRI is a key part of the investments Qualcomm is making in Taiwan to ensure the industry continues to move rapidly toward deployment of 5G NR technology.

“Supporting rapid innovation of 5G NR small cells by OEMs and ODMs in Taiwan is a major step towards enabling much anticipated 5G experiences and will result in faster time to market and lower cost,” Cathey said.

“Small cells will be a key component of 5G networks, delivering enhanced performance utilizing both mmWave and sub 6 GHz spectrum, and we are looking forward to working closely with Qualcomm Technologies as a global leader in end-to-end 5G development,” said

Dr. Tzi-Cker Chiueh, general director of Information & Communication Labs at ITRI, added the collaboration would provide ITRI early access to Qualcomm’s 5G small cell technology, “including the creation of industry-grade quality assurance capability for communication protocol product and a live network test bed to enable product testing and performance verification under real world environment prior to product launch field trials.”

Taiwanese companies such as Sercomm, Zyxel and MitraStar expressed support for the Qualcomm/ITRI team-up.

Small cells can be deployed either in a distributed (or standalone) architecture or in a centralized architecture with remote radio heads (RRH). Small cells including RRH will be needed to realize the full potential of 5G and are particularly well suited to support a wide range of spectrum bands including sub-6 GHz and mmWave (e.g., 28 and 39 GHz); and to support hyper-densification with expanded capacity and coverage, especially in challenging indoor environments.

Small cell innovation will also be a key enabler for new types of deployments, both in mmWave and sub 6 GHz bands, such as private 5G networks, neutral hosts and fixed wireless, Qualcomm says.

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