PARTNER FEATURE: To provide users with better data flow, operators built significantly more and densely distributed 4G base stations than 2G and 3G base stations.

The cost of such dense 4G networks, along with network operation and maintenance expenses, has been a heavy burden on operators: it is believed that the required density of 5G base stations will be even higher than that of 4G base stations, costing operators even more.

As a result, operators and equipment manufacturers are constantly looking for more cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly base station solutions.

Filters are an important factor affecting the cost and power consumption of base stations. Building low energy-consuming, small-size and lightweight 4G and 5G base stations through innovative filter technology is a new challenge faced by base station vendors and professional filter manufacturers.

At the beginning of 2018 Fingu announced HiQ filter technology at Mobile World Congress (MWC) and almost a year later, based on the efforts from Fingu’s pre-study team, it has solved many of the technical problems involving filter engineering application and processes.

The filter materials have been improved and the filter stability, consistency and reliability have been proven, according to all relevant environment tests. Compared with the current full ceramic or air cavity filters, the new HiQ filter will reduce the size by 10 per cent to 40 per cent, and reduce the IL by 10 per cent to 50 per cent, while retaining the filter attenuation performances in different application scenarios.

Based on the contributions from such filters, the RRU/AAU will reduce the power consumption by 10 per cent to 17 per cent. This is especially good news for base stations that run on batteries: lower power consumption means longer battery life and lower recharge costs. Lower power consumption also means less heat emission and less air-conditioning, which is also good news since the air-conditioning is a big contributor to the electricity bill of every base station network.

Furthermore, a 10 per cent to 17 per cent reduction in heat emission delivers a corresponding reduction in heat sink in the overall design of the base station. When combined with the reduced volume of the filter itself, this translates into an RRU which is 10 per cent to 20 per cent smaller and AAU which is 10 per cent to 15 per cent lighter, making it easier and cheaper to pack, transport, deploy and maintain.

Future plans
As its next step, Fingu will promote the HiQ filter to commercial applications. It plans to work together with customers and integrate the filter technology into the RRU/AAU systems. The solution will reduce the cost and improve the performances for RRU/AAU products and thus reduce the operational cost for the mobile operators.

Due to the lower power consumption and smaller size, the RRU/AAU power supply, PA and mechanical cost will be lowered. The RRU/AAU package, transportation cost, installation and maintenance costs will also be reduced, due to the smaller and lighter RRU/AAU. Electricity costs will be reduced in the operational period due to lower power consumption. For example, the power consumption of a regular 64MIMO AAU in a 5G station is usually 850W: when the old filter in the AAU is replaced with an HiQ filter, it will need 127W less power. Given that a regular base station has three AAUs, overall power consumption is reduced by 381W in power.

In a network of 100,000 5G base stations, switching to HiQ filters will save 333 million kW.h of energy every year, which will make the network more eco-friendly and contribute to environment protection.

At MWC 2018 Fingu announced another two new filter technologies which are now in the pre-commercial application phase.

PBOX is in the end of the R&D verification phase and will be commercially available in the beginning of 2019. Compact filter products will be mass produced in the first half of 2019.

Through the commercial application for new technology and products, Fingu will continue to deliver technology innovations, and support our customers with valuable RF solutions and services.