PRESS RELEASE: China Unicom Heilongjiang and Huawei successfully completed the first invisible antenna pilot project in a residential area in Harbin City. Field tests show that the invisible antenna can be well blended into the environment, and meanwhile have high reliability and significantly improved performance. This makes the invisible antenna ideal for deployment in residential areas.

China Unicom Heilongjiang has been proactively constructing 5G networks in Northeast China to drive the comprehensive revitalization of this region. The construction of high quality networks in residential areas is a particularly important but also very challenging part in 5G construction. It is difficult to deploy traditional spotlight antennas in residential areas for three reasons. First, these antennas are often large and heavy, which makes them difficult to be installed on residential buildings. Second, the appearance of the traditional spotlight antennas further limits the installation in available sites, which means the available sites cannot be fully utilized. Finally, these antennas are fixed by a few number of screws, which challenges their safety and reliability under extreme weather conditions.

To overcome these challenges, China Unicom Heilongjiang and Huawei jointly completed the first pilot project using invisible antennas in residential areas to improve user experience and facilitate the deployment of 5G in residential areas. Invisible antennas are 30% smaller and 50% lighter than traditional spotlight antennas with the same specifications, which is a big advantage for installation on residential buildings. Their transparent design highly blends in with their surroundings, therefore site selection is no longer limited by antenna appearance.

An invisible antenna next to a spotlight antenna

With their smaller frontal areas and innovative base design, invisible antennas can flexibly adjust their azimuths by ±20°. They have passed stringent climate and environment reliability certifications. In addition, field tests showed that invisible antennas outperform traditional spotlight antennas as they increased the average coverage by 2.6 dB and doubled the average uplink and downlink throughputs.

China Unicom Heilongjiang has been adhering to the core values of “customer-oriented, teamwork, open innovation, and pursuit of excellence,” and driving by innovation to continuously improve the quality of 5G networks. In the future, China Unicom Heilongjiang will continue to work with Huawei to explore more 5G scenario-based solutions to help Heilongjiang achieve high-quality digital economy development.