Verizon trials Pivotal’s 5G network repeaters in Michigan

Verizon today said it’s trialing Pivotal Commware’s 5G repeaters in Dearborn, Michigan. Pivotal, a Verizon Ventures portfolio company, strategically places its intelligent repeaters to boost Verizon’s 5G signal on mmWave spectrum.

“As we’ve known since our very early trials, high band spectrum provides more limited coverage from macro cells,” said Kevin Smith, VP of network planning for Verizon, in a statement. “Introducing repeaters like the ones we are trialing from Pivotal will help us expand the footprint of our new 5G Ultra Wide Band network and provide another tool in the toolbox for robust network design.”

RELATED: Pivotal gets recognition as Verizon mmWave partner

The network repeaters take signals from nearby cell sites, amplifies the signals from those sites and retransmits them to previously underserved areas. Pivotal’s repeaters are a way to efficiently enhance the design of the network and improve service in hard to reach areas.

The trials in Dearborn focus on providing coverage to larger, multi-unit dwellings such as apartments or dormitories with multiple buildings and floors where repeaters are particularly helpful. By installing repeaters between the cell site and the location, the 5G signal can be cost-effectively retransmitted to cover additional areas. Repeaters are small, consume less power than a small cell or macro site and do not require a fiber connection, according to Verizon.

Pivotal’s holographic beam forming technology helps solve mmWave coverage challenges by counteracting reflection, penetration and shadowing loss.

RELATED: Pivotal takes ‘lemons’ out of mmWave to improve coverage

Brian Deutsch, CEO of Pivotal Commware, said in an email to FierceWireless, “To any mmWave critic, I'll stand up the enabling and disruptive capability of Pivotal's Holographic Beam Forming repeaters – Echo 5G and Pivot 5G – and their ability to substantially reduce 5G mmWave deployment costs while delivering ample signal to Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband customers.”
Verizon’s FWA

Verizon also said today that it is expanding its fixed wireless access (FWA) 5G Home internet service to parts of Houston. Recently Verizon expanded 5G Home service to Detroit and enhanced service in Indianapolis and Los Angeles. By the end of 2020, 5G Home Internet will be available in 10 cities nationwide.

RELATED: Verizon launches 5G Home in Detroit

Verizon 5G Home customers don't have to wait for a cable installer; customers can do a self-setup install on their own time with “minimal effort,” according to the carrier. Getting the service to a place where it can be self-installed is an important piece of Verizon’s overall FWA puzzle.