PRESS RELEASE: In September 2023, the 19th Asian Games took center stage in Hangzhou, China. The event was not only a grand sporting event but also a showcase of a high-tech, intelligent sports feast.

During the event, China Telecom and ZTE harnessed cutting-edge 5G-A technologies to ensure seamless 5G connectivity and superior network experience for all attendees.

As the official communication services partner for the Hangzhou Asian Games, China Telecom, in collaboration with ZTE, showcased the latest technologies in the 5G-A domain and created several prominent smart projects at the Hangzhou Asian Games. Among these, the Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface (RIS) stood out as a key technology, with its cost-effective and low-power characteristics, significantly contributing to ubiquitous 5G coverage at the Games’ venues and the Asian Games Village. Providing a superior network experience for all attendees of the Hangzhou Asian Games.

RIS is an innovative multi-antenna technology that utilizes electromagnetic metamaterials, which is considered to be one of the key technologies of 5G-A. RIS enables the extension of base station coverage by intelligently reflecting or transmitting base station signals, resulting in improved coverage at a low cost and with low carbon emissions. ZTE leads in this field and launched the second generation dynamic RIS product RIS 2.0 during the Shanghai exhibition in June 2023. Compared to its predecessor, the RIS 2.0 product offers significant advancements in terms of cost, power consumption, and reliability, laying a technical foundation for application in the Asian Games and large-scale commercial use in the future.

Smart Asian Games Village

Near the venues of the Hangzhou Asian Games, there stand numerous towering high-rise buildings. However, the interiors of commercial and office buildings have inadequate indoor coverage of 5G signals due to non-line-of-sight (NLOS) conditions. This situation results in poor user experience and areas with signal blind spots. Even the outdoor base stations deployed nearby are unable to meet coverage requirements within shops and parking garages. The low indoor signal strength further contributes to slow data rates and an unsatisfactory user experience.

To address these challenges, rapidly deployable RIS technology was employed to expand base station coverage within living areas, shops and parking garages. This approach provided comprehensive indoor spatial coverage at a minimal cost and with minimal carbon emissions, ensuring that users could consistently enjoy high downlink and uplink data rates while indoors.

Smart Sports Venues

Inside the sports venues, the demand for network capacity reached new heights, especially with the advent of high-definition 8K sports broadcasts. To facilitate high-definition streaming of the Asian Games events, 5G-A technology offered continuous, high-speed network services, supporting multiple devices, multiple angles of high-definition broadcasting, as well as features such as virtual reality viewing and interactive experiences both inside and outside the stadiums. While the high-frequency bands brought ample bandwidth, they also posed coverage challenges.

By combining AAU with RIS, the Hangzhou Asian Games achieved full coverage within the competition venues while substantially reducing deployment costs and speeding up the deployment process.

In addition, RIS was also deployed on runways along the Qiantang River and on cruise ships to provide a good 5G network experience for people running on the runway and spectators on cruise ships.

In essence, the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games have not only been a celebration of athletic excellence but also a testament to the power of innovative technology. With China Telecom and ZTE’s deployment of 5G-A technology, these Games have set a new standard for intelligent, high-tech sporting events, ensuring that athletes, attendees, and the global audience have a seamless and immersive experience.