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Super-fast smartphones and computers may be the selling points for next-generation 5G cellular networks, but it’s not easy to build the infrastructure to offer those speeds — especially since millimeter wave radio signals travel only short distances and struggle to penetrate walls. So Movandi has developed a solution, BeamXR, that increases the range of millimeter wave signals while reducing the need for expensive base stations, enabling 5G to blanket indoor or outdoor settings.

BeamXR is effectively a signal booster and repeater. Movandi told VentureBeat that the device is specifically built to the “very stringent latency requirements” of the 3GPP’s 5G standard, adding “very little latency” to a base station’s millimeter wave signaling. The hardware promises to amplify millimeter wave signals to penetrate buildings or bend around curves, rather than just traveling in direct lines from the base station.

For a typical office or outdoor installation, the result will be a high-speed 5G network that continues to offer low latency from edge to edge, including spots that might otherwise lack coverage. Critically, the site can deliver this performance without the challenge of adding more 5G base stations, which are larger and more expensive than the BeamXR units.

Above: Movandi’s BeamXR.

Image Credit: Movandi

Movandi also expects that BeamXR will enable some users to install 5G hardware on their own, rather than requiring professional installation services.

Specific pricing details are not yet available, as the company notes that BeamXR is configurable for multiple use cases, including indoor and outdoor use, with different performance and feature options, depending on the customer’s needs. BeamXR is currently sampling to early access partners and will be demonstrated live at Mobile World Congress from February 25 to 28.

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