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Huawei and Grameenphone's Joint Solution VillaRadio Enhances Deep Coverage in Emerging Markets

Jun 01, 2017

[London, UK, June 1, 2017] Huawei and Telenor's Grameenphone (GP) jointly won the GTB 2017 Infrastructure Innovation award at the annual Telecommunications Industry Innovation Awards hosted by Global Telecoms Business (GTB). This award was presented in recognition of the outstanding contributions of Huawei and GP’s joint innovation program, VillaRadio, to promote the mobile broadband (MBB) network development in emerging markets. VillaRadio aims to address the in-depth network coverage issues in residential areas.

In emerging markets, with a huge population of about 4.7 billion people, of which 3 billion people and 800 million households still do not have access to the Internet, the basic needs of communication are far from being fulfilled, and there is still a huge population which is not connected. As with other emerging market economies, many cities in Bangladesh, such as Dhaka, have experienced rapid growth in the past few years.

With a high population density, a high GSM traffic, and a rapid growth in demand for 3G and 4G services, there are urgent needs to improve networks through innovative program coverage solutions to fulfill customer needs. At the same time, stable infrastructure, such as fiber resources and stable power supply, is still relatively scarce in these cities.

VillaRadio is an innovative small cell solution that is jointly deployed by Huawei and GP, taking into account the city development and network needs of Bangladesh. This solution consists of three parts: a frontend BookRRU, an RHUB as a fiber and power supply convergence node, and a baseband processing unit (BBU).

The BookRRU features high integration and small dimension and supports large network capacity. It can be flexibly installed on poles and walls in residential areas and blend in well with the surrounding environments. The RHUB allows for data transmission and power supply over a single optoelectronic cable, simplifying the network deployment and centralized power backup and reducing the power backup costs and engineering difficulties for network deployments.

Therefore, VillaRadio offers an ideal choice to deal with the challenges of costly network deployments in densely populated areas with a diverse range of building characteristics and a lack of suitability of macro base station deployments as well as to the challenges arising from scattered power supply at remote sites. This solution is particularly suitable for in-depth coverage of residential buildings with a height of less than 50 meters.

Michael Foley, Grameenphone CEO and CTO, said, “Expanding our network in densely populated areas of Dhaka city has always been a challenge, mainly because of space restrictions in deploying conventional solutions. The VillaRadio solution has helped Grameenphone improve its coverage in areas where the customer experience had probably been sub-optimal before. Data and voice traffic growth in those specific areas after the launch of the VillaRadio serves as a strong indication that we have successfully been able to improve our overall customer experience.”

“Strengthening the investment toward emerging markets to help operators there improve ROI and accelerate the release of dividends is an important strategy of Huawei. We will continue to focus on the growing bandwidth requirements of emerging market operators and enhance innovation and business deployment practices. Huawei's small cells will be committed to providing the best network solutions for a variety of scenarios," said Ritchie Peng, President of Huawei's Small Cell Product Line. "To help operators build a more future-oriented network infrastructure and promote the development of MBB industry."