Researchers Develop First Indoor 5G Router with Multiple Antennas

In addition to increasing indoor connectivity, the new router technology will also be useful in airports, theaters, and more.
Fabienne Lang

Researchers in South Korea have created a technology system capable of exponentially expanding 5G networks indoors and underground. 

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) team has essentially found a way to use this technology for 5G networks inside indoor spaces that require high-speed internet, such as airports and virtual reality theaters. 

Typically, 5G radio waves have a harder time reaching indoor and underground facilities because of their access networks requiring much higher frequency bands, these shadow areas are known as gaps, reported Aju Business Daily. 


The team at ETRI decided to take matters into its own hands and created the distributed antenna system (DAS). The DAS distributes 5G inside buildings, bypassing any shadow gaps. 

The goal is to connect and improve certain industries thanks to this new technology.

"We hope that this technology will contribute to the creation of an ecosystem of new convergent industries such as interactive entertainment and smart factory and the rejuvenation of the stagnant domestic industrial ecosystem related to repeaters for mobile communication, while ensuring the quality of service and eliminating radio-eave shaded indoor areas," said Sunmi Kim, head of ETRI's Network Research Division.

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The technology involves multiple routers and antennae linked thanks to optical cables. The router then relays 5G signals that have been picked up by a base station and then distributes these through the antenna placed on each floor of the building. 

The DAS is capable of dividing 5G signals into 32 frequency bands that are able to send large-sized data and can provide a 5G mobile data speed of up to 20GB per second. For context, that means downloading a full high-definition movie in mere seconds.

The team's DAS optical transceiver is roughly the size of a notebook and costs approximately 20% less than other similar devices. As Aju Business Daily noted, the DAS has already been commercialized in the U.S., but no further details have been shared.

See Also: Who is Going to Use the 12 GHz Band - 5G, Starlink, or Both?

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