Unlike previous generations, 5G has a bigger dream called Band-Agnostic, which is that 5G isn’t a technology developed for a specific spectrum, it’s a technical standard for all types of spectrum.
In other words, with the continuous development of 5G networks, 5G will not only expand from TDD frequency bands to more new frequency bands, but also recapture FDD stock frequency bands used by 2/3/4G, ultimately achieving full frequency band of 5G.
Today, in the past three years, with the rapid development of network coverage, user scale and application, 5G network construction has gradually moved to the TDD+FDD fusion networking mode from the middle frequency band in the initial stage, which can be said to have started the first step for the whole frequency band to 5G.
But the road ahead will be difficult and full of challenges. For example, the fragmented FDD frequency band of retillage will make the already crowded sky space more tense, and the relatively poor coverage and mobility of millimeter wave will lead to the difficulty and cost of network construction and maintenance.
How to pave the way to the all-band 5G dream? During the Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2022, Yang Chaobin, president of Huawei ICT Products and Solutions and president of Huawei Wireless Network product line, released the One 5G concept and a full series of solutions to support the all-band move to 5G.
800MHz MetaAAU “eats all” C-band
“The new 800MHz MetaAAU product, a single module to meet the current C-Band construction and future new frequency distribution of the minimalist deployment.” At the conference, Yang Chaobin first launched Huawei’s latest MetaAAU product.
Massive MIMO is known to be the leading player in the early 5G commercial phase. It completes the coverage gap in TDD and improves spectrum efficiency. In the past three years, Huawei’s Massive MIMO product has increased the bandwidth from 200MHz to 400MHz to meet the growing network needs of operators, and then launched the industry’s only ultra large antenna array support MetaAAU. It can achieve the same coverage capability as the previous generation products under the premise of configuration of lower transmission power, and achieve double improvement of performance and energy efficiency.
What new power will 800MHz MetaAAU product inject into the development of 5G network? At the media roundtable, Gan Bin, vice president of Huawei Wireless network product line, gave a detailed answer to this question. At present, with the accelerated development of 5G users and services, the world’s leading markets are starting to release more C-band spectrum resources, expanding the 5G middle band from 3.4-3.8GHz to 3.8-4.2GHz. However, due to the problems left over by spectrum auction and historical allocation, some operators may obtain discontinuous spectrum resources in C-band. The most extreme case is to obtain 3.4-3.5GHz and 4.1-4.2GHz bands, which are distributed at both ends of C-band respectively. In this case, if the Massive MIMO product does not support the C-band’s full 800MHz bandwidth, it can only use two or more sets of equipment to build the network, not only the high cost of network construction, network construction is difficult, but also due to the tower sky space limited implementation. But now Huawei launched 800MHz MetaAAU, which can take the whole C-band, just to solve the above problems.
When it comes to the limited sky space, MetaAAU also combines with Huawei Blade technology to form the latest Meta BladeAAU product, which realizes the whole C-band and Sub 3GHz full frequency band with one holding pole, thus further reducing the sky space and tower rent.
Blade is an innovative technology launched by Huawei in 2019. Instead of simply combining active and passive antennas together, Blade adopts a black technology called “transparent antenna”, which can effectively control the device size through highly internal integration and make the device deployment simpler and more efficient.
Ultra-wideband Multiple Antennas Efficiently Integrate FDD Stock Frequency Bands
FDD’s stock of frequency bands used to be used in 2/3/4G. Compared with C-band newly allocated for 5G, these bands are characterized by spectrum fragmentation and narrower spectrum bandwidth. For example, many operators own only about 10M spectrum bandwidth in 700MHz, 800MHz and 900MHz bands respectively. In the 1.8GHz and 2.1GHz bands, it’s only 20 to 40 megabytes, making it challenging for 5G to refarm those bands.
The first is the deployment challenge. If a new set of equipment is built for each segment of fragmented spectrum, it will face the problems of limited surface space, difficult deployment, and high construction and operation and maintenance costs. The second is the performance challenge. In some user-intensive scenarios, the narrow bandwidth is difficult to meet the capacity demand. Furthermore, 2/3/4G will coexist with 5G for some time in the future, and even 4G traffic will continue to grow in some areas driven by 5G. After replanting part of FDD spectrum, 2/3/4G network experience will still be maintained.
To address the above challenges, Huawei has launched multiple sets of products and solutions including UWB 4T4R RRU, 1.8GHz and 2.1GHz dual-band 8T8R RRU, FDD M-MIMO, and FDD BladeAAU.
Uwb 4T4R RRU has two main advantages: one is that a set of equipment supports 700-900mhz and 1.8-2.6/1.4ghz multi-frequency network at the same time, which means that the operator may need 6 sets of equipment to deploy these frequency bands, but now only 2 sets are enough. Second, dynamic power sharing technology is innovatively introduced to support millisecond power sharing between different frequency bands and 4*160W transmission power, which can reduce the overall power consumption while maintaining the coverage capacity of 2/3G network.
1.8GHz and 2.1GHz dual-band 8T8R RRU supports 8*60W transmission power, introduces AHR Turbo innovative technology, supports high-precision beam forming, can achieve 4G capacity 1.5 times, 5G coverage 3dB and capacity 3 times; In addition, it can be combined with the Hertz platform innovated by Huawei to reduce the loss of RF cable and reduce energy consumption by introducing the innovative architecture of SDIF (direct feed).
In response to the narrow bandwidth and low capacity of FDD spectrum, Huawei launched the industry’s first FDD Massive MIMO product supporting 1.8GHz and 2.1GHz as early as 2020. At present, this product has been commercialized on a scale in more than 70 networks around the world, and has been verified to increase the capacity of 4G network by 3 times and 5G capacity by 5 times.
Now, Huawei combines FDD M-MIMO with Blade technology and launches the industry’s first FDD BladeAAU solution, which can integrate the FDD M-MIMO active antenna and Sub 3GHz passive antenna and deploy them on a single pole, further simplifying network deployment.
Intelligent Management of Multi-band Networks
As 5G moves towards full frequency bands, more spectrum types will be used and more diverse services will be enabled. The network also needs to embrace intelligence to achieve efficient collaboration of full frequency bands and improve service experience, operation and maintenance efficiency and network energy efficiency. To this end, Huawei has developed IntelligentRAN, a layered and innovative architecture that helps operators reduce network operation and maintenance costs, open up network capabilities and create more business opportunities.
What are the specific benefits of IntelligentRAN? Gan cites three examples. IntelligentRAN, for example, has helped customers in Asia Pacific and Europe reduce the number of network alarm orders by 90 percent by using AI, big data and other technologies to rapidly locate root causes and filter out invalid alarms and work orders through historical experience and analysis of massive multi-dimensional data.
In terms of network performance improvement, IntelligentRAN can provide optimal network strategies through business prediction. For example, in TDD+FDD multi-frequency networking mode, when a user moves to the edge of the TDD cell, the upstream performance of TDD deteriorates but the downstream is still good. In this case, intelligententran can predict the user’s business characteristics. Then switch to the FDD frequency band with better uplink performance quickly. At the same time, when making switching decision, it can also predict the trend of channel quality change of target cell to ensure good user experience after switching.
IntelligentRAN can effectively collaborate with multiple frequency bands to automatically generate and implement precise energy saving strategies, such as carrier shutdown and symbol shutdown, based on network health in real time, so as to maximize network energy saving without affecting network performance.
In addition, to address the problems of difficult transmission, unstable mains power, and high construction and maintenance costs in remote rural scenes, Huawei launched the RuralLink solution, which can provide three-sector network coverage in rural areas through one RRU and one antenna, realize BBUS free minimalist deployment through microwave forward transmission, and only six solar panels can supply power to the site. Supports remote operation and maintenance.
It is not difficult to see from the above that the fundamental reason why Huawei can take the lead in realizing the industry dream of 5G, which is full spectrum, is that it always focuses on the pain points of operators’ network construction and operation and maintenance to carry out continuous technological innovation. It is worth noting that among these innovative technologies, we also see the shadow of a lot of 5.5G technology, which also makes the future development of 5G technology more clear.
Post time: 12-06-2022