Corning Developing First Indoor 5G mmWave Solutions in Partnership With Qualcomm

Feb 20, 2020 10:30 EST
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Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) announced on Thursday a partnership with Qualcomm Technologies, a subsidiary of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), to develop indoor 5G mmWave infrastructure systems for enterprises and public venues.

The company’s product line management VP Michelle Engarto said in a press release:

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“Corning has decades of experience designing, installing, and conditioning advanced cellular networks. Our experience in network design and knowledge of varying and distinct customer requirements will benefit customers as we navigate the complexities associated with 5G mmWave indoors. By combining the technology leadership and experience from Corning and Qualcomm Technologies, we aim to offer a compelling and affordable solution for 5G mmWave systems specifically developed with the enterprise in mind.”

As a refresher, mmWave – for 5G – refers to the very short wavelength part of the radio frequency spectrum ranging between 24GHz and 100GHz. Lower frequencies, ranging between 800MHZ and 3,000MHZ, are more heavily congested with TV and radio signals, as well as the 4G LTE networks.

Corning’s envisaged offerings are expected to be among the first designed to deliver indoor 5G–NR capability over mmWave spectrum with wide-ranging applications for enterprise offices, university campuses, hospitals, hotels, shopping centers, etc. Bear in mind that the 5G-NR is designed to utilize frequency bands above 3GHz and, therefore, offers the flexibility of introducing new frequency bands – typically above 3GHz – in existing 4G networks. These 5G systems are expected to leverage Corning’s virtualized RAN architecture to manage the attached mmWave small cells.

The press release states that Corning will primarily employ Qualcomm® FSM100xx 5G RAN platform in order to construct indoor 5G offerings that are small, cost-effective and scalable. In light of the ongoing 5G revolution, Qualcomm's products are proving to be increasingly popular.

Corning is looking to offer new functionality around concurrent beamforming, advanced scheduling, and other features necessary to support the unique characteristics of indoor environments. Combining these solutions with Corning’s LTE-based Enterprise RAN (Radio Access Network) systems – built on the Qualcomm FSM99xx 4G RAN platform – should make it easier for mobile operators to rapidly deploy 5G NSA (Non-Standalone) services. For context, 5G NSA is a solution for 5G networks where the network is supported by the existing 4G infrastructure.

Of course, Corning and Qualcomm have a history of working together. Previously, these two enterprises have collaborated on LTE, LTE-U/LAA, CBRS, etc. infrastructures.

This development could not have come at a better time for Corning. The company’s stock is down by 18.25 percent over the past year. Similarly, year to date, the stock is down around 3.95 percent (based on Wednesday’s closing price).

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