At the 2020 Global Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF), Mr. Yang Chaobin, President of Huawei Wireless Network Solution, unveiled the future-oriented “1+N” 5G target networks and released a full series of 5G solutions for building simplified “1+N” 5G networks. “To embrace the approaching golden decade of 5G, we need to evolve our networks towards 5G with full-spectrum and build one high-bandwidth simplified target network that ensures ubiquitous connectivity with an on-demand overlay of ‘N’ capabilities,” said Yang.
5G is not only a new generation of mobile technology, it also represents the creation of new business, ecosystems, and opportunities. 5G features more diversified services and differentiated requirements in comparison to 4G. The connection of people requires a contiguous high-bandwidth network to provide a premium experience at greatly reduced per-bit costs. The connection of things also requires ubiquitous coverage to support the massive connectivity of IoT terminals. Industry connections, which are applied first in local scenarios, require capabilities such as flexible high uplink, low latency, and high-precision positioning to be deployed on-demand. To meet these differentiated requirements, Huawei proposes “1+N” 5G target networks for full-spectrum evolution toward 5G and building a ubiquitous high-capacity foundation network, with a high intermediate frequency (IF) bandwidth as its core and other frequency bands to achieve differentiated benefits and on-demand overlay of ‘N’ capabilities.
Any endeavor begins with one step. User experience is the basis upon which leapfrogged 5G services are developed. The cost per bit of 5G networks must be reduced to offer a continuous cross-generation user experience. The combination of high IF bandwidth and Massive MIMO (M-MIMO) is the key to developing a high-bandwidth network to achieve ubiquitous connectivity.
Scaled deployment worldwide has shown that TDD high-bandwidth M-MIMO has been highly recognized across the industry. TDD IF M-MIMO achieves co-coverage at the same sites with 1.8 GHz and a minimum of a tenfold improvement in user experience compared with that of 4G. The performance of the same hardware varies considerably with different algorithms. As the cornerstone of M-MIMO performance, algorithms greatly affect the performance of commercial networks. Huawei’s pioneering algorithms will enable operators to significantly improve user experience and the cell capacity of 5G networks.
Huawei’s adaptive high resolution (AHR) algorithm will help operators to further expand network capacity in scenarios with high user density and strong interference. The UL/DL decoupling solution improves the uplink coverage of TDD IF bands. It improves M-MIMO coverage by 6 dB to 7 dB in the uplink and by 2 dB to 3 dB in the downlink. At MBBF 2020, Huawei also released the multi-band UL/DL decoupling solution, which supports the combination of 3.5 GHz/3.7 GHz and 1.8 GHz/2.1 GHz/700 MHz, 2.6 GHz and 1.8 GHz/700 MHz, 4.9 GHz and 2.3 GHz.
In 2019, Huawei launched the industry’s first Blade AAU, which integrates Sub-3 GHz and 32T32R M-MIMO to address the issue of extremely limited antenna spaces in some markets, enabling simplified deployment of single-antenna 5G M-MIMO. This year, Huawei released Blade AAU Pro, which supports 64T64R M-MIMO and Sub-3 GHz full-band. The solution comes with the unique “transparent” antenna technology which simplifies deployment and thereby reduces costs.
For markets in which high-bandwidth TDD is hard to come by or the capacity load is heavy, Huawei launched the industry’s first FDD M-MIMO, which substantially improves cell capacity to three to four times that of 4T4R networks. The innovative metamaterial dipole design and ultra-small PIM-free filter technology enable FDD M-MIMO to have an amplitude width of less than 500 mm and engineering specifications equivalent to TDD M-MIMO.
“Huawei’s wide array of IF M-MIMO solutions and advanced software algorithms can help operators build an IF-oriented high-bandwidth foundation network for ubiquitous connectivity that delivers optimal user experience,” Yang added.
While running basic services on high-bandwidth IF bands, operators can also develop differentiated advantages by using other spectrums, such as those assigned for FDD or Super Uplink. But this poses challenges such as fragmented spectrums, diversified channels and sectors, and varying spectrum lifecycles. “To innovate ‘N’ capabilities, we need to simplify deployment while maintaining diversity and order,” said Yang.
At MBBF 2020, Huawei released its highly integrated Blade Pro portfolio for FDD applications. This portfolio includes the industry-acclaimed ultra-wideband RRU, which slashes the number of required devices by two thirds by integrating three low or three intermediate FDD bands into one box, greatly simplifying deployment. It also supports dynamic power-sharing on multiple bands, making this RRU extremely energy efficient. The Blade Pro flexible channel solution, powered by the industry’s first digital software-defined antenna (SDA) and 8T8R RRU, is perfect for various scenarios due to its exceptional flexibility. It supports multi-TX, multi-sector coverage to deliver large capacity, and 2 x 4T4R or 4 x 2T2R on one module to cover traffic lines or serve tubular tower sites.
Pole sites can close coverage gaps, offload traffic, and enhance the uplink in cases where macro base stations can provide only basic, incomplete coverage. Huawei also launched a series of simplified solutions to supplement 5G coverage. Easy Macro 3.0 is the industry’s first application that carries FDD 4T4R and TDD 8T8R in one box, and it also supports the simplified deployment of UL/DL decoupling. Book RRU 3.0 realizes both TDD and FDD 4T4R. For indoor coverage, the LampSite EE suite provides B2B capabilities, such as D-MIMO, Super Uplink, and high-precision positioning, to accommodate differentiated services in varying scenarios.
Efficient O&M is a huge challenge in building “1+N” target networks. One challenge can be effectively targeting capabilities for B2B and maintaining 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G simultaneously. Another challenge is balancing user experience and energy consumption or on-demand slicing and spectral efficiency. Fully optimizing capabilities such as latency, bandwidth, uplink, and downlink is also difficult. AI-assisted autonomous driving of networks will be the optimal way to address the challenges O&M poses in the 5G era.
Through continuous innovation, Huawei has developed a new series of solutions powered by its MBB Automation Engine (MAE) autonomous driving network. The 5GtoB suite enables intelligent and precise planning, simplified provisioning on-demand, and proactive network O&M. It realizes a perfect alignment with industry Service Level Agreement (SLA) requirements, adaptive deployment in complex scenarios, and real-time SLA monitoring and fault prediction, facilitating digital layout of the 5G B2B industry. The 5G WTTx suite provides reliable service provisioning checks, precise network capacity warning, and capacity expansion guidance as well as network evaluation and line management, greatly improving the O&M efficiency of 5G WTTx services.
PowerStar, with the help of AI, implements intelligent carrier management based on traffic, reverse mobility load balancing (MLB) energy saving based on energy efficiency, and hierarchical energy saving based on key performance indicators (KPIs). It greatly reduces network energy consumption through coordinated energy saving between multiple frequency bands and radio access technologies. Test results on commercial live networks reveal that PowerStar brings “1+N” energy efficiency and optimal user experience, reducing energy consumption by 15% and increasing network traffic by 10%.