Empowering service providers with solutions to enhance 5G network performance and user experience while boosting energy efficiency were the key themes of the media roundtable led by Yang Chaobin, President of ICT Products and Solutions, President of Wireless Solution, Huawei, at the ongoing Huawei MBBF 2022.

There is a growing network complexity now as the service providers manage several networks, including 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G networks, at the same time. Further concurrent running of all the networks means that the power consumption is high. “It is advisable to phase out 2G and 3G networks, as several operators across the globe have started to do. This will help reduce power consumption. Further, all spectrum bands should evolve to 5G to enhance the efficiency of the spectrum,” says Yang Chaobin during the session with global media.

Even so, there is a need to adopt solutions that simplify network management as several technologies will continue to co-exist for a long time. Ensuring superior network performance while bringing down power consumption is the need of the hour. This is critical as the telecom industry is under pressure from regulatory authorities as well as industry bodies to bring down carbon emissions and adopt sustainable practices.

Solutions to help service providers boost energy efficiency 

Over the last few years, Huawei has introduced several products and solutions to help service providers boost the energy efficiency of their networks. MetaAAU is one such solution that is helping carriers to improve coverage while improving energy efficiency.

“MetaAAU’s Extremely Large Antenna Array (ELAA) allows service providers to provide a superior network experience even as they are able to bring down energy consumption. Compared with traditional AAU, the power consumption is reduced by 30% in MetaAAU. It also helps in improving the area coverage,” explained Yang Chaobin. MetaAAU was introduced earlier this year and is already being used in 60 networks across the world and has touched 100,000 shipments.

He revealed that Huawei is working with several European telcos, who are witnessing a dramatic rise in operational expenditure because of increasing power costs, to phase out the use of air conditioners at the site.

Another challenge being faced by the telcos in 5G is that it involves the use of spectrum from several frequency bands. The challenges in 5G are more daunting, compared with 2G, 3G and 4G, because there are more spectrum bands and also because several technologies are co-existing, leading to an increase in power consumption. 5G uses both FDD and TDD spectrum to achieve continuous coverage. Huawei’s BladeAAU allows service providers to use spectrum from different frequency bands by integrating key antenna and filter technologies.

“Our Blade AAU supports various combinations of Massive MIMO and antennas, including TDD Massive MIMO and FDD Massive MIMO, thus helping service providers to simplify operations and reduce operational and power expenditure,” says Yang Chaobin.

He also spoke about FDD ultra-wideband multi-antenna, which allows dynamic power sharing across all modes, improves user experience by 30% and helps bring down power consumption by 30%. These include the true triple-band RRU, which supports the widest bands in the industry. In addition, it is the industry’s only commercial FDD Massive MIMO product and its only green Hertz antenna.

Need to evolve to address changing market requirements

He also highlighted the growing need for networks to evolve as the requirements from 5G networks are vastly different from the previous technologies. Each band comes with its own features and specifications.

“The spectrum for 5G is fragmented and from several frequency bands and the carriers need to use them together to deliver on the promise of innovative use cases. The 5G use cases are diverse and very different from the use cases of the previous technologies. For instance, enterprises from different business verticals will use 5G for different use cases, while on the other hand, the bandwidth consumed by consumers will increase significantly. All this means that the networks need to evolve quickly to address the market requirements.”

Yang Chaobin also called upon the regulatory authorities of different countries to reserve the 6GHz spectrum for mobile operators because it will help the countries maximize the socio-economic benefits of 5G.