The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and inevitably has impacted the 5G supply chain. This has led to some countries announcing delays in their 5G network deployment plans.
Despite the global economic situation, brought on by the pandemic, Network Equipment Manufacturers (NEMs) and Network Operators, are forging ahead with manufacturing and deployment ramp-up plans for the next phase. While the initial 5G deployments focused mainly on the FR1 band (410 MHz to 7.125 GHz), this next phase will be operating in the FR2 band (24.25 to 52.6 GHz), with current operating bands in the 24.25-43.5 GHz frequency range.
As such, attention is turning to the challenges of scaling volume manufacturing of high performance 5G NR base stations (gNB) and small cells at millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies.