Traditional base stations are mounted on the roofs of buildings, chimneys or specially raised masts for this purpose. However, the increasing density of the cellular network means problems for operators in the form of lack of space for new base stations. That is why the Japanese operator NTT Docomo intends to bury 5G base stations 70 centimetres underground. Will this idea work in practice?

People who are interested in wireless systems will be surprised by the idea of ​​a Japanese operator. After all, the basic principle of radiocommunication says that the higher we install the antenna, the greater its range will be. That is why operators are eager to mount antennas of base stations on chimneys or church towers. However, coverage is not everything. 5G will allow much more than current LTE networks. For this reason, operators are outdoing themselves in ideas for possible applications of new technology. For some time now we know that 5G does not only mean faster data transmission, but also support for a much larger number of devices. However, there is nothing for free. A large network can be built only with densely placed base stations. Ericsson intends to integrate its transmitters with street lamps. The Japanese, on the other hand, want to hide them underground.

docomo base station

What will be a range of 5G base station buried underground?

Initially, as I read about this idea, I imagined a base station that is located underground, but the antennas connected to it are already on the surface. However, NTT Docomo also wants to bury the antenna underground. The whole will be buried at a depth of 70 cm. The base station will be surrounded by a specially prepared plastic, which will protect it from moisture, but will transmit radio waves. However, the range of the buried transmitter will be 90 meters. Maybe it is not much, but a few such structures are enough to cover the stadium or other densely populated building. The most interesting thing about all this is that this idea is not only present on paper. The operator has already tested the new solution and intends to implement it by March next year.

Source: RCR WirelessThe Asahi Shimbun