PARTNER CONTENT: Compared with LTE networks, 5G technology provides abundant new services and has the potential to continuously expand the capabilities of almost all industries. Not only does 5G provide high-speed data services, it also can deliver compelling applications for consumers, enterprises and industries, making life and work more convenient, productive and enjoyable.

People can now view immersive sports events and entertainment programmes, while businesses can streamline production systems and governments can make social services more acceptable.

Figure 1: 5G network scenarios and performance requirements

5G will connect diverse vertical industries, making use of the same technology standard to simplify installation and maintenance.

For example, a 5G network can support a smart building system with video surveillance equipment and sensors, which were originally connected to a fixed network, providing more flexible deployment, capacity expansion and reconfiguration.

5G will emerge as the core of the smart city evolution, becoming as essential as water, electricity and gas.

Most of these services will be used indoor, with more than 80 per cent of data services expected to be consumed within buildings in the near future.

Indoor considerations
The objective of indoor 5G network construction should be to improve the user experience and introduce new business models. 5G indoor network buildouts should follow the principle of on-demand network construction to cultivate a new ecosystem, which not only allows operators to make an attractive profit, but also facilitates industry partners in profiting as well.

During the construction of the 5G network, operators will undergo two major changes:

  • New business models: Operators will shift from operations focused solely on connectivity towards traffic value monetisation, with connections at the core. Multiple network features, such as throughput, latency and slicing, will allow operators to move beyond simple pipe services. They will expand to provide an intelligent platform and many associated network services.
  • Vertical networking architecture: Driven by new business models, the network architecture will be integrated with vertical industries. In addition to providing wireless connectivity, networks will also integrate with the smart units in the industry to form a cloud-pipe-device architecture.

In the 5G era, the amount of traffic will skyrocket. Unlimited data packages will become standard, business value will be reshaped. Operators will be required to strengthen their operations to realise sustainable business growth with differentiated monetisation methods using multiple network features.

Different indoor services need to be supported by diverse network construction requirements. Based on past deployments in various scenarios such as stadiums, hospitals, transportation hubs and commercial buildings, Huawei is able to analyse factors such as capacity planning, network reliability and network O&M to develop an appropriate indoor 5G network construction strategy.

Figure 2: Accurate indoor 5G planning

In the indoor 5G network planning process, different functional areas in a building will have different features. A 5G network must also be designed to meet consumer and business service requirements.

During the construction of the indoor 5G network, using all-scenario digital products is recommended to meet the large-capacity, low-latency, high-performance requirements. The products have a unified digital integrated deployment platform, which can implement process-based operations, data streamlining, visualised progress and quality management, improving end-to-end deployment efficiency and quality.

With 5G network operations and maintenance (O&M) and optimisation, the digital integrated deployment platform can provide the location of faulty devices, provide grid-based indoor coverage, and offer a “black box” for indoor site maintenance to improve indoor O&M efficiency. Moreover, the platform can also reduce indoor energy consumption.

Indoor traffic on HKT’s network has soared and already reached 80 per cent of total traffic in 2019. With the rise of 5G, the proportion of indoor traffic consumption will only increase. Traditional passive indoor distributed systems will struggle to meet the requirements and challenges of indoor network capacity and evolution in the 5G era.

To provide the optimal user experience, smart O&M and highly efficient operations, it is necessary for an indoor digital network to be constructed based on an all-optical architecture. HKT in Hong Kong will provide more abundant digital services and applications for individual consumers and home users to improve convenience. In addition, the operator will continuously build out a high-quality, highly reliable indoor digital network for enterprises, enabling more applications and creating more business value.

Indoor coverage has become a highly valued fundamental of 5G networks, and indoor digitisation is now a major industry trend. Huawei is an end-to-end 5G indoor coverage provider, with extensive capabilities in indoor network consulting and planning, 5G scenario-based solutions, 5G digital products and integration, and industry ecosystems. In addition, we have accumulated vast experience and have actively promoted 5G indoor coverage around the globe.

Huawei has helped 140 operators in 85 nations deploy more than 60,000 hotspot networks. In the future, the company will continue to collaborate with industries to increase investment in indoor coverage solutions, deepen cooperation with operators and other industry partners, jointly explore new business models and construct a new industry ecosystem. Together, we can build a smarter, more efficient indoor 5G network to create more value.

Duan Xuepeng, general manager of MBB Domain, Huawei