At the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Technicolor Connected Home has announced its Cobra 5G, an indoor customer premises equipment (CPE) platform that houses a fixed wireless access (FWA) modem and Wi-Fi router in a single enclosure.
Technicolor said its Cobra 5G router is designed to address attenuation, or weakening, of the signal as it moves through walls and other objects in a home, which can often cause connectivity and performance issues.
The Cobra 5G box is powered by Qualcomm Technologies' Fixed Wireless Access Platform Gen 2 silicon, featuring Snapdragon X65 and X62 5G Modem-RF systems.
The Cobra 5G can provide 500 Mbps throughput within the home, and transmits at the highest level allowed by regulation to maximize Wi-Fi coverage.
It can also be supplemented with extenders that run on the EasyMesh R2 software.
"This is a self-install, single CPE for indoor use that operators can deploy while reducing the total cost of ownership for FWA service," said a Technicolor representative. "The Cobra 5G provides intelligent and dynamic management of traffic to optimize 5G connectivity for mobile users by keeping 5G applications and traffic in the 3.5GHz band. This a important factor as operators that have secured 3.5GHz band expect to see returns on the investment."
Optimizing 5G access to homes
Technicolor says the Cobra 5G router addresses the connectivity and performance issues created by signal attenuation —or weakening—as traffic passes through the walls of homes.
As further contended by a company statement:
Even if outdoor deployment remains the way to reach highest 5G speeds, wherever possible, operators prioritize the one-unit self-install indoor CPE deployment as it reduces the total cost of ownership for the FWA service.
While network operators have been aggressively rolling out 5G FWA services to subscribers by leveraging the newly available C-band spectrum, attenuation has prevented NSPs from delivering a reliable single-unit in-door solution.
“Signals from the FWA connections weaken as they travel through household walls and other barriers. This can prompt users to consume lower band 5G resources for FWA applications. This creates congestion and impact smartphone/mobile services which typically use lower band frequencies,” said Girish Naganathan, CTO of Technicolor Connected Home. “It not only creates poor customer experiences for users, but also prevents carriers that have invested significantly in national 3.5GHz auctions from optimizing their returns on these investments."
Naganathan continued, "For instance, typical fixed broadband users consume 300GB of data per month compared to 4G mobile device plans—which operate below the 3.5GHz band—that have an average usage of 30GB per month. When a significant portion of FWA traffic is pushed to lower bands congestion is created, reducing performance. The Cobra 5G solution from Technicolor Connected Home leverages its breakthrough Indoor5G technology to manage traffic in a dynamic and intelligent manner. It allows the antennas in the gateway device to self-optimize by automatically tuning the direction and configuration of its internal antenna system to ensure the best 3.5GHz reception from operators’ towers. By improving 3.5GHz downlink and uplink throughput performance, NSPs avoid loading lower frequencies with heavy home broadband FWA traffic."