5G is transforming the landscape of the communication networks. With the combination of ultra-high-speed and extremely low latency, it will enable several path-breaking use cases like Industry 4.0, connected vehicles, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Reality (AI), apart from several others. With 5G, the service providers are able to connect billions of people and devices without any impact on the quality. 5G will connect 1.2 billion people across the globe by 2025, according to GSMA. To deliver on the promise of 5G, the service providers will need to adopt the strategy of network densification to increase the amount of capacity available and to offload traffic from nearby sites. This is especially true for urban areas or areas which have a high concentration of mobile users. A greater number of macro-cells, along with small cells, will need to be installed to ensure high-speed and low-latency network performance.

STL Firebird is a portfolio of multi-band macro O-RUs available in different bands (currently band 1 and band 41). These carrier grade macro O-RUs are compliant with 3GPP Release 15 and can be upgraded to Release 16 through software updates. Read More..

These standardized O-RUs works seamlessly with O-DU from any vendor to form the gNodeB and supports the delivery of high-speed data, mobility, seamless voice and broadcast services. STL has formed strategic partnerships with several vendors to provide an integrated solution, which will enable service providers to address several deployment use cases with a faster time to market. These O-RUs supports multiple component carriers in several configurations covering LTE, NR & NB-IoT technologies with an antenna configuration of four transmit and receive paths (4T4R). The units are physically compact, easy to install and have high conducted output power, making them a good fit for outdoor deployment. With a carefully crafted design, this product succeeds in minimizing physical footprint, power consumption and the overall OPEX of service providers. STL's Firebird leverages the company's rich experience in the industry and takes forward our legacy of bringing cutting-edge technology products. Read Less..


5G macro radio architecture

You can use 5G for all types of wireless networks, including LAN, MAN, and WAN. For WAN, 5G will use macrocells to transmit waves over a large distance; this is 5G macro radio. The 5G macro radio architecture will use large cell towers capable of communicating over large distances. It uses lower 5G frequencies that don't scatter as much as the millimeter waves used in microcells. These lower frequency waves can penetrate walls, windows, and other physical barriers. These large cell towers will be 50 to 200 feet tall, and you can communicate with them over miles. The United States currently has 200,000 macrocells. A macrocell implements MIMO, or Multiple Input, Multiple Output. It uses antennas with multiple elements for transmitting and receiving.


Faster Time to Market

Faster Time to Market

These standardized O-RUs are interoperable with O-DUs from several vendors, hence faster time to market

Better Cost

Better Cost

Standardized open interfaces enables innovation and competition among vendors and hence better cost

Lower Power

Lower Power

With low power consumption, it helps bring down the operational expense for the service providers

Easier Deployment in Outdoor Settings

Easier Deployment in Outdoor Settings

These O-RUs are carrier grade hardware (IP 65 rating) and robust enough to face the harsh and challenging conditions of the outdoor environment

Simpler Operations

Simpler Operations

Easy field set-up and verification, software diagnostics and easy "hitless" upgrades

Benefits of 5G Macro Radio

5G wireless technology will transform communication as we know it. High speeds and low latency will enable using Inter-connected vehicles, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence for a more productive industry. Additionally, it will satisfy the demand for ultra-fast Internet in densely populated areas. A 5G macro radio can cover a city, suburban, or rural area as lower frequency waves get scattered less. Therefore, few of them are necessary for communication, reducing the installation cost. As the 5G macro radio towers are tall, they can negotiate small structures such as buildings and trees.

5G macro radio with STL

A 5G uses three primary units: O-CU, O-DU, and O-RU. And STL produces multi-brand macro O-RUs under the name Firebird. These are compliant with 3GPP Release 15; you can upgrade it to 16 via software updates.
Its benefits include:

  1. Fast Time to Market because of its interoperability with O-DUs.
  2. Better cost, as it uses a standard open interface, which increases vendor competition.
  3. It consumes less power, which reduces operational expenses.
  4. STL Firebird O-RUs have an IP-65 rating and can face harsh climatic conditions.
  5. It has an easy field setup, verification, and software diagnostics. Their upgrade is also very straightforward.
  6. Supports multiple component carriers and configurations, including LTE (Long Term Evolution), NR (New Radio), and NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Thing).
  7. It has an antenna that supports four transmits and receive paths (4T4R).


5G Macro Radios

STL Firebird is a portfolio of multi-band macro O-RUs available in different bands (currently band 1 and band 41). These carrier grade macro O-RUs are compliant with 3GPP Release 15 and can be upgraded to Release 16 through software updates. These standardized O-RUs works seamlessly with O-DU from any vendor to form the gNodeB and supports the delivery of high-speed data, mobility, seamless voice and broadcast services.

Learning Resources


Firebird - Be 5G connected anytime, anywhere!


O-Ran (OpenRan) for Better Network Economics

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5 Ways to optimise 5G in times op Capex constraints

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STL recognized by Gartner as a Global 5G RAN Vendor

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For more details, write to ravi.prakash@stl.tech


Several new terms, including Centralized Unit (CU), Distributed Unit (DU) and Radio Unit (RU), were introduced in the 3GPP 5G RAN architecture in release 15. However, the most demanding interface in 5G RAN transport is between the RU and DU.

In simple terms, RU is the radio hardware unit that converts signals from the antenna into a digital signal for transmission over packet networks. Essentially, it manages the front end, the lower PHY layer as well as digital beamforming functionality. The key factors in 5G RU designs are size, weight and power consumption.

The Open RU or O-RU includes both traditional macro radios and Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO). It addresses key challenges of bringing down cost and quickening the time-to-market without impacting the network performance.

O-RAN Alliance defines O-RU as a "logical node hosting Low-PHY layer and RF processing based on a lower layer functional split. This is similar to 3GPP's "TRP" or "RRH" but more specific in including the Low-PHY layer (FFT/iFFT, PRACH extraction)."

Typically, the outdoor environment demands that O-RUs perform in harsh and sometimes remote and difficult to reach settings. Therefore, the O-RU should be resilient and robust to face extreme variation in day and night temperature coupled with rugged terrain. In addition, O-RU should be geared to support still evolving 5G standards and should come with the ability to perform remote software upgrades.

A macro radio refers to the 5G radio architecture that uses low-frequency 5G waves. They can cover large areas-for example, a city. There are two reasons for this; low-frequency waves get scattered less, and these towers are very tall. Because they are tall, their waves will not get blocked by buildings or trees.

A 5G macro cell is a base station; it has an antenna with many elements capable of connecting large devices. It uses low-frequency waves that scatter less.

A macro cell covers a large area like a city, and a micro cell covers a small region up to the size of a football field. Macro cells are gigantic and range from 50-200 feet; micro cells are around 30 feet. A macro cell uses frequencies lower than those of a micro cell.

A macro network covers large areas, typically between two cities. Therefore, using big antennas to establish a macro mobile network is more economical. For example, a 5G macro network will use 5G macro cells strategically placed over a large region. However, you can also use many small antennas.

A 5G radio is the 5th generation cellular network based on OFDM technology. In OFDM, or orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing, you vary signals across multiple channels. It reduces interference. The fascinating feature of the 5G radio is the use of very short millimeter waves.

A macro in 5G refers to the macro cells mentioned earlier. These are humongous base stations, and they are capable of transmitting low-frequency waves over a large region. You can place them on tall structures, mount on walls, or fix them on high grounds. In addition, they can have multiple wireless connections simultaneously.

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