Pivotal Commware showcases holographic beam forming for 5G fixed wireless access

At the MWC Americas 2018 earlier this month, Pivotal Commware held the first ever public demonstration of its Holographic Beam Forming (HBF) technology. Like its recent Gigabit+ outdoor test, this 28 GHz indoor demonstration featured Pivotal’s Echo 5G affixed to the double-paned, low-E glass surface of a simulated home. The product was positioned directly in front of and at a 45-degree angle from a simulated 5G base station. In both cases, Echo 5G was able to acquire the base station signal and boost it through the glass to achieve full-speed throughput.

HBF (Holographic Beam Forming) is a disruptive and game-changing new technology that expands the capacity and spectral efficiency of 4G and 5G networks to address the rapid growth in wireless data consumption. It enables software-defined antennas to increase spectrum efficiency by focusing radio signals where they are needed most, like spotlights in a theater. Further, HBF provides the lowest cost, size, weight and power consumption (C-SWaP) over legacy technologies such as phased array and MIMO.

Pivotal Yole

Pivotal’s demonstration underscores the technical and economic challenges associated with fixed 5G service at millimeter wave frequencies. Due to the physics of high frequency radio waves, achieving meaningful link distances and throughput requires beamforming technology on the subscriber side to intercept and amplify the signal into the home. Pivotal Commware overcomes these challenges by embedding HBF into its glass-attached Echo 5G unit that customers can install by themselves – no external wiring or drilling through walls. The low-profile and lightweight Echo 5G then boosts the signal through the customer’s window at any angle, both to and from the base station.

Self-installation, oblique penetration angles and long distances from the base station all help carriers to close the business case for delivering fixed 5G service. With the Echo 5G, wireless carriers can compete for over $100 billion in new revenue by serving broadband to homes and businesses.