With 5G making its way into the mainstream, telcos need superior antenna efficiencies to improve the user experience and leverage new revenue opportunities. In addition, telecom services are using more energy than ever before as more and more devices are connected and 5G offers extraordinary possibilities to drive new use cases from technologies like IoT, Edge, and Cloud.
Telcos not only have a social responsibility to save energy and reduce emissions, but they also need to do so in order to reduce energy costs. Huawei, a global provider of ICT solutions, is working closely with the industry to address this issue by developing new power-efficient innovations that will boost energy savings and enable telcos to build networks that are extraordinarily efficient.
“One of the biggest focus areas for telcos is energy efficiency. In the past decade the industry focused on gains from shrinking dimensions but neglected efficiency. Now we must place emphasis on efficacy as efficient antenna will contribute to a highly efficient network,” says Eric Zhao, President of Huawei Antenna Business Unit.
SDIF Technology brings high efficiency to antenna
There has been a greater focus of Huawei antenna toward higher network energy efficiency. Understandably, antennas play a pivotal role in wireless networks as they are the medium of RF energy transmission to mobile devices.
“If we can improve antenna efficiency, we can reduce the loss of energy during transmission, and that’s going to save energy consumption,” Eric adds.
Huawei says that its highly energy-efficient antenna with Signal Direct Injection Feeding (SDIF) technology helps telcos maximise energy saving while improving coverage. As a result, they can increase coverage and save energy.
The numerous cables and independent components inside an antenna are replaced by SDIF technology. Further, the traditional wires are replaced by metal striplines and the input and output are directly connected by metal striplines. As a result, there is no loss because the structure is directly connected.
Huawei’s unique SDIF technology has been designed for all antenna scenarios, and the company says that the antenna series is designed to meet the band- and region-specific configuration requirements, helping telcos get about a 20% increase in the energy efficiency of all bands.
Antenna innovation is moving towards generalized efficiency.
Eric further said that antenna innovation shall move towards a more comprehensive aspect. We can call it generalized antenna efficiency, it includes:
RF efficiency, reduce the internal energy loss in antennas, reduce the waste of energy into heat and convert more energy into electromagnetic waves for network coverage.
Coverage efficiency means project more energy into the target area. This maximizes the signal strength of the area where coverage is required and reduces the interference of the location where coverage is not required. For example, based on Huawei’s latest Meta Lens technology, by managing antenna pattern to ensure power is concentrated in the appropriate directions, operators will get better network performance from high coverage efficiency.
And Beamforming efficiency, means enables antenna focusing more energy to user device which need date transmission, and reduces interference to other user devices. This relies on high-precision hardware design to provide phase consistency between multiple arrays. In this way, users can obtain better service experience and network capacity is improved.
RF efficiency is a research field in the industry today and generalized antenna efficiency is the next research direction. Generalized antenna efficiency improvement will further help operators improve network energy efficiency and performance.
What’s next for telcos?
The ease of deployment will be one of the main problems for carriers as the year progresses. Huawei thinks that telcos will require new technologies and structural designs as networks continue to develop in order to boost their capacity while also making the network more deployable and more energy efficient.
“Antenna vendors need to be fully aware of the network development trends. The design must adhere to the target network’s requirements, which include beamforming functions, evolution capabilities, and more bands integration. Moreover, antenna deployability needs to be improved. More integration, reduced weight, and wind load are required. Via our leading-edge research labs, we will continue to advance fundamental technological research and promote new breakthroughs,” Eric adds.