Integrated Access and Backhaul
to Go the Extra Mile
Simple & Efficient 5G Expansion
The 5G race is on. Operators across the globe are pushing to expand 5G networks and introduce new use cases that leverage the power of 5G. When operators deploy 5G, the lack of fiber in some areas-required for backhaul connection can be a hurdle as fiber construction is complex, expensive and takes time.
Integrated Access Backhaul (IAB) is a promising solution for fiber-scarce areas as IAB enables wireless backhaul and can boost 5G coverage expansion. Provided there exists a gNB (IAB-donor) already connected to fiber, the IAB-donor can serve as backhaul for surrounding gNBs and operators can deploy a new gNB (IAB-node) without connecting additional fiber. After receiving signals from an IAB-donor, the IAB-node can relay the signal to the next IAB –node to minimize investment and facilitate fast 5G adoption.
More Coverage, Better Capacity
IAB can be utilized for both coverage and capacity enhancement.
Radio signals from high frequency band 5G networks propagate straight with very little diffraction.
Due to this physical characteristic, radio signal paths strongly follow the direction of a gNB and coverage holes may emerge in Non-Line of Sight (NLOS) direction.
This is where the IAB solution comes in handy as a new cell can be easily added to fill the insufficient coverage.
Moreover, when operators hope to enhance their network capacity, IAB can replace a traditional small cell deployment and provide higher performance gains.
The newly added cells created by IAB-nodes increase signal strength and improve the overall user experience.
Optimized & Flexible Deployment
Samsung’s IAB solution supports flexible installation with the mobile termination (IAB-MT), separated from the gNB (IAB-DU). The two products can be installed independently with the IAB-MT deployed at a position that secures line-of-sight (LoS) with the IAB-donor, while the IAB-DU faces the direction where 5G signals should be delivered. As a result, the disaggregated architecture supports an optimized network deployment.
Operators can also adopt IAB as a intermediate solution for fast 5G introduction while deploying fiber. After fiber is connected to each IAB-DU, operators can remove only the IAB-MT and reuse the product for other areas where the IAB solution is needed.
Furthermore, Samsung’s IAB-donor and IAB-DU can support different frequencies. For example, operators can use 28GHz for the IAB-donor and 39GHz for the IAB-DU- allowing operators to manage their resources more efficiently.
with separated units
Adaptive Beamforming Improves Coverage Creation
5G coverage can be extended to a certain degree with RF repeaters, but repeaters have some limitations as they do not support beamforming technology.
For example, when the RF repeater’s beam design is adjusted for wider coverage, only devices close to the repeater receive its benefit. Likewise, when the beam is set to cover longer distances, the beam range becomes narrow, limiting the effective coverage.
With IAB’s adaptive beamforming, operators can provide both a longer and wider coverage range.