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Huawei and GSA Detail 5G Solution for Indoor Digitalization

Nov 22, 2017

[London, UK, November 22, 2017] Huawei and GSA have detailed the requirements for 5G in indoor digitalization in a white paper released at the Global Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF) 2017. The 5G-Oriented Indoor Digitalization Solution White Paper addresses development trends in indoor mobile networks and technologies in the 5G era. Features that typically characterize indoor digitalization are defined and suggestions provided for how operators can build indoor mobile networks based on digital solutions to meet the needs of indoor network evolution in a 5G environment.

The broad applications of 4.5G and 5G technologies are going to enrich mobile communications in all aspects. Facing the challenges of capacity, experience, hybrid high/low-band networking, and Operations and Maintenance (O&M), traditional indoor networks cannot satisfy the requirement of technological developments. Operators urgently need to find new indoor solutions that can address the constant growth of MBB demand for indoor mobile users.

Considering the service growth and industry development trends, the white paper presents an objective comparison between typical indoor coverage technologies on their support for evolution to 5G. The conclusion deduces that digital distributed networks are the most competitive and flexible example due to many helpful characteristics. Typically, digital solutions use active head ends, network and fiber optic cables for transmission, and visualized O&M. Such strong features can fully address indoor network requirements from 4G to 4.5G and later 5G and beyond and help operators gain a maximal level of return on investment.

The white paper also proposes a three-step approach to building digital indoor networks. In the current stage, the first step for operators is to build 5G-oriented indoor digital networks based on the existing spectral resources to improve the experience of indoor LTE users. Next, based on a digital architecture, operators overlay high-band 5G NR modules to existing networks to rapidly transition to 5G. Lastly, operators build full-5G networks by deploying new 5G networks on a large scale.

From an industrial perspective, the white paper further stresses that indoor digitalization has become commonly understood in the industry and has proven inevitable for 5G-oriented transition. In recent years, equipment and traditional DAS vendors have launched digital indoor products driving the growth of annual shipment of digital indoor network products. Their performance and benefits have been recognized by a clear majority of operators. Indoor digitalization has emerged as a new standard for indoor networks among global operators and shows strong momentum for development.

Joe Barrett, President of GSA, said: "In the era of MBB, facing massive data traffic demand and massive connections of ‘things’, operators have to consider how to properly deploy indoor networks to fulfill the capacity and coverage needs. The newly introduced spectrum in 5G also presents new challenges for indoor coverage. We believe that a complete indoor coverage is essential for the success of the mobile network industry. The traffic demand in indoor environments is surging, and this growth will continue to happen in future."

"GSA and Huawei share the same views toward the evolution of indoor networks to 5G,” said Peng Honghua, President of Huawei's Small Cell Product Line. “Both of us believe indoor mobile networks must be developed based on the latest digital solutions and support flexible evolution to 5G. The path of indoor digitalization has been well recognized across the industry by an overwhelming number of operators, equipment vendors, and industry organizations. Building 4G indoor digital networks at this stage will deliver solid results and will also help operators move to 5G easily and smoothly while protecting their investment. Huawei aims closely cooperate with all industry partners to build a dynamic indoor digital ecosystem that offers new opportunities for operators."

The 5G-Oriented Evolution of Indoor Digital Networks White Paper is available at: PDF,6.23MB