Home5G & BeyondGlobalstar launches XCOM RAN solution it said provides 4x capacity of 5G...

    Globalstar launches XCOM RAN solution it said provides 4x capacity of 5G  


    Company thinks the service, coupled with its global terrestrial Band 53 holdings, is going to steal 5G private network market share

    Globalstar has launched its new XCOM RAN coordinated multipoint radio system that the company said can handle four times the traffic of 3GPP 5G networks, including in indoor venues like stadiums, campuses and warehouses. The operator said “one of the world’s largest global retailers” is deploying the new service.  

    The solution is a coordinated multipoint radio system targeting dense deployments of 5G infrastructure to deliver “significant capacity gains over traditional inbuilding solutions”. XCOM differs from traditional inbuilding solutions, such as small cells and DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems), in that it provides extremely high downlink and uplink capacity that can be both ubiquitous and highly concentrated in nature. It achieves these performance gains within a single logical cell comprised of multiple RRU (Remote Radio Units), meaning that inter-cell interference is non-existent and brief interruptions due to cell handovers “are a thing of the past”. 

    Globalstar recruited independent research firm Signal Research Group to give the system the once over and the results certainly give the company a new inroad into the private 5G network space. Signal found the service delivered very high downlink and uplink capacity due to high reuse of nearly all resource blocks on each MIMO layer. Average downlink capacity reached over 4.5Gbps in 100MHz of TDD spectrum (64.6bps/Hz) while in the uplink we documented an average throughput of nearly 770Mbps (38.3bps/Hz) with a spectrum allocation that was biased toward the downlink direction. 

    It also found a high reuse of network resources – up to 16 downlink MIMO layers and up to 12 uplink MIMO layers with nearly full reuse of all resource blocks (RBs) on each layer – largely explains the observed gains. Even more MIMO layers are possible in one or both directions depending on the network configuration and device capabilities. 

    Impervious to location or device number 

    Signal said in many of its tests it incorporated 1 to 96 devices located adjacent to each other on up to 12 carts distributed across the 8 RRU network – up to 204 devices at a time. In one test they pushed all 12 carts together so there were 204 devices located directly under a single RRU.  

    “There were only modest differences in the total network capacity between these configurations. It is one thing to obtain high bidirectional spectral efficiency with distributed devices. Achieving this performance with devices literally on top of each other is another thing altogether,” concluded Signal.  

    As a result of the tests Signal said stadiums, arenas, and similar venues would be ideal for the service since there are high concentrations of smartphones generating significant data traffic in both directions. “However, the merits of [the service] are even more important for private inbuilding networks targeting factories, warehouses, and other large building structures where there could be a limited amount of spectrum available and where there is a need for a robust network that provides highly reliable, ubiquitous coverage while satisfying the demands for concentrated capacity that can vary over time and location,” said Signal.  

    The research firm added that warehouses and micro fulfilment centres – two areas that can struggle for connectivity due to the aisles and heavy racking, offices and so on – would also suit Globalstar’s service. 

    Service this year 

    Globalstar is providing its connectivity solution comprising hardware, software, and services, with several systems expected to be delivered in 2024. The company suggestds the kit will be Open RAN complaint and will feature “joint processing algorithms that support superior end-to-end system performance, eliminating handoff boundaries and interference conditions while allowing users to scale quickly and economically.” 

    With XCOM RAN, we set out to apply our decades of wireless system design experience into creating transformative and differentiated performance for private wireless 5G networks and beyond,” said Globalstar CEO Paul Jacobs (above). “We have significantly increased the amount of data that can be transmitted over a given spectrum allocation, while improving other performance measures — all within a flexible solution that provides the ability for future performance improvements.” 

    “5G private networks are used for many applications,” added Globalstar VP of terrestrial network Tamer Kadous. “While XCOM RAN can benefit the entire spectrum of use cases, it stands out when addressing the most demanding KPIs. I am delighted to see the culmination of our intensive efforts over the past few years with the launch of our first product, and proud that our first commercial sale is with one of the world’s largest retailers.”