PARTNER CONTENT: At MWC23 Shanghai, Huawei introduced a fresh range of 5G and green innovations for wireless communications to enable global operators to enhance network performance and lower energy consumption across all spectrum bands.

Gan Bin, VP of Huawei’s Wireless Network Product Line, stressed that these two factors are the driving force behind its wireless initiatives. He delivered a detailed update of the company’s latest product developments and releases during Day 1 of the event.

Over the next two or three years, Gan predicted all spectrum bands will evolve to 5G, giving improved capabilities for all types of consumer and business applications.

As part of the company’s 5GigaGreen philosophy, he said Huawei continues to invest heavily to make improvements across its wireless equipment portfolio with the goal of taking “5G from good to great”.

To improve energy efficiency of multi-band network, he noted a variety of factors must be considered. He added its innovations are not only valued by operators but also by the industry, winning four GSMA GLOMO Awards earlier in 2023.

Huawei believes ultra-wideband is the best way to reduce energy consumption of multi-band networks, Gan stated.

The company’s ultra-wideband gear combines multiple bands into a single unit to lower energy consumption and is applicable to all bands.

Base on innovations in ultra-wideband RF and power amplifier algorithm, the vendor introduced the triple-band FDD 4T4R RRU, delivering more than 20 per cent lower energy consumption compared with the industry average.

The 4T4R RRU is simple to deploy in all types of RATs and on all frequency bands, he said. It entered large-scale commercial use around the world, with more than 100,000 shipments.

An operator in Europe, for example, found that after a site was upgraded from four to six bands, its energy usage was cut by 30 per cent.

Huawei also expanded its ultra-wideband range from FDD to TDD. Its 800MHz MetaAAU, offering the largest bandwidth in the industry, covers the full C-Band and reduces power consumption 20 per cent compared with two separate 400MHz modules.

Gan noted Huawei not only uses ultra-wideband in macro base stations but applies the technology to microwave and digital indoor systems.

For microwave, its outdoor unit enables the aggregation of more carriers to increase bandwidth by four times, from 200MHz to 800MHz, and reduce power consumption 50 per cent compared with the industry average.

In addition, its LampSite indoor unit, supporting 1.8GHz, 2.1GHz and C-band spectrum, uses the technology to provide 2GHz of bandwidth, lowering power consumption of the entire site by 40 per cent.

Multi-Antenna Is Optimal for Improving Bit Energy Efficiency. Supported by multi-antenna and large-bandwidth technologies, Huawei TDD Massive MIMO improves bit energy efficiency by 20 times compared with 4T4R. In high-traffic areas of commercial networks in the Middle East, TDD 64T64R Massive MIMO has achieved a bit energy efficiency gain of more than 10 times by employing multi-layer pairing technology. In the future, traffic volume will keep increasing, and more layers will be configured to improve the bit energy efficiency by up to 20 times.

Gan said it deployed more than 1 million TDD 64T64R Massive MIMO AAUs globally.

In a deployment in Kuwait covering high-traffic commercial areas its TDD 64T64R Massive MIMO achieved a bit energy efficiency gain of more than ten times by using an 8-layer configuration.

Looking ahead, as traffic volumes increase, he said more layers will be added to improve the bit energy efficiency. “We expect 15 to 20 times gains can be reached with 16 layers.”

As a leader in FDD multi-antenna, Gan said Huawei has shipped more than 100,000 8T8R units worldwide.

He gave the example of an operator in Europe using the gear, supported by an intelligent beamforming algorithm, reporting a gain in bit energy efficiency of 1.5 times compared with 4T4R.

“We have more than 80 commercial networks using FDD massive MIMO.”

Passive Capability
Another fundamental way Huawei is reducing energy usage is to focus on the passive part in base stations, he said. “It’s a ground-breaking way to save energy.”

For example, traditional antennas need more than 100 metres of cable, which bring at least 1dB loss of RF signal. Its signal direct injection feeding (SDIF) technology uses no cabling, reducing loss by 1.5dB. Energy efficiency can be improved by 15 per cent.

He said SDIF is Huawei’s unique advanced antenna technology, which works with Meta Lens to concentrate beam energy for greater RF efficiency of antennas. Together the technologies can improve energy efficiency up to 25 per cent.

Meta Lens concentrates beam energy similar to a spotlight.

Huawei delivered more than 250,000 green antennas

Huawei also continues to enhance the passive capability of TDD Massive MIMO.  The company launched MetaAAU based on extremely large antenna array (ELAA) in 2021, which doubled antenna dipoles from 192 to 384. To provide the same level of coverage, MetaAAU needs only half of the transmit power, reducing energy consumption by 30 per cent.

More than 100,000 MetaAAUs have been deployed globally.

New benchmark: “0 Bit 0 Watt”
Gan highlighted its “zero bit, zero watt” concept as a new benchmark for equipment energy saving. It is based on advanced hardware and software designs, achieving the industry’s first “super deep dormancy” with a 99 per cent shutdown ratio, cutting equipment operating power to less than 5W. With a new on-demand wakeup algorithm, equipment can wake up at any time to guarantee the user experience.

Huawei is the first company in the industry to deliver millisecond-level carrier and channel shutdown through joint innovations with digital and RF modules, he claimed. This capability means an additional 10 per cent energy saving compared with minute-level shutdown commonly used in the industry.

Huawei’s iPowerStar implements intelligent energy saving strategy orchestration to maximise energy efficiency of multi-band networks by applying an optimal strategy for each site at each time, he explained.

“As more data is introduced and algorithms evolve, I believe additional network-level energy saving gains will be achieved in the future,” he forecast.

Gan closed his speech vowing “Huawei will never stop 5GigaGreen innovation” and will continue working with industry partners to move “5G from good to great”.