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First Commercialization of Simplified Rural Solution — RuralStar Pro

2020.12.30

[Guizhou, China, December 30, 2020] Huawei and China Unicom have deployed the world's first commercial RuralStar Pro site in a village in Southern China to provide voice and data services for local residents. This promotes digitalization in rural areas and helps lift the residents out of poverty.

The solution was deployed in a mountainous Maopo village in Kaiyang County, Guizhou Province. The village resides 1,000 meters above sea level and is often surrounded by thick fog. Prior to the solution, the villagers had weak or no signal coverage and had to walk up the mountains to make a call. This difficulty in communication was one of the reasons this village struggled to develop economically.

Maopo village is one of the key targets for precise poverty alleviation in Guizhou, of which rural digitization is high prioritized. Despite finalizing site planning, China Unicom had to delay the network construction multiple times. This is because the foggy environment made using microwave for transmission difficult and it is costly to lay optical fiber in the mountainous village. Huawei's new RuralStar Pro solution enables the operator to overcome these challenges.

RuralStar Pro site

World's First Commercial RuralStar Pro site in Maopo Village, Guizhou Province

RuralStar Pro revolutionizes the traditional base station mode with its all-in-one design that integrates baseband, radio frequency (RF), and wireless LTE backhaul all in one tiny box. This design supports LTE wireless self-backhaul, innovatively compensating for the weaknesses of microwave and optical fiber transmission. Integrating main equipment, this design also helps reduce the site's power consumption to only a little over 100 W, which is far lower than that of the traditional site. This site can be installed on a 6 m pole, significantly reducing civil work costs and simplifying delivery. As a result, site investment is greatly reduced.

The access-backhaul integrated design was first implemented by Huawei in wireless networks. This deployment, in particular, is a major milestone in expanding access to rural communities and marks the first commercial use of such a design in the communications industry.

With the access-backhaul integrated base station deployed in Maopo village, the installation and commissioning took only 2 hours, 80% shorter than a traditional site. After the site was deployed, the coverage proportion in the village soared from 5% to 85%, and clear VoLTE voice services and a download speed of 20 Mbps are now accessible to the residents.

One of China Unicom's engineers who was involved in the site deployment was impressed by how fast the site was deployed, saying that this was the fastest site he had deployed in 10 years. China Unicom Guizhou highly praised the deployment, saying: "Broadband is playing an increasingly important role in the alleviation of poverty in rural areas, particularly for the villages where network deployment is challenging. In the future, we will continue to work with Huawei to develop simple and cost-effective network solutions for villages in mountainous areas to bring mobile broadband and its benefits to more people."

Innovation will never cease. Since its maiden launch three years ago, Huawei's RuralStar series has been continuously improving. Huawei will continue to innovate products and solutions to bring digital to every person, home, and organization.