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China Unicom Baotou and Huawei Complete World's First Test of MAGICS LH Microwave Backhaul Solution

May 23, 2024

[Inner Mongolia, China, May 23, 2024] The Baotou Branch of China Unicom Inner Mongolia and Huawei have completed the world's first commercial test of the pioneering MAGICS LH long-haul microwave solution in Baotou, Inner Mongolia. Using ultra-wideband technology, this innovative microwave solution enables a single antenna to cover five frequency bands (L6 GHz, U6 GHz, 7 GHz, 8 GHz, and 11 GHz), making it the widest range of microwave frequency bands ever recorded by a commercial product. With a link capacity of up to 10 Gbps, the solution can reduce microwave backhaul hardware costs by more than 70%. The test spanned a distance of 36 km.

Owing to the scarcity of spectrum resources in the 6–11 GHz band, microwave solutions nowadays must combine multiple channels or frequency bands in order to achieve ultra-large bandwidth. Until now, L6/U6 GHz, 7/8 GHz, and 11 GHz bands required the installation of different antennas. This multiplication of devices in a long-haul backhaul network increases costs, lengthens construction time, and poses significant challenges in terms of tower space and load-bearing capacity.

Huawei's next-generation MAGICS LH long-haul microwave solution capitalizes on the ultra-wideband technology, which allows a single antenna to cover five frequency bands — L6 GHz, U6 GHz, 7 GHz, 8 GHz, and 11 GHz. This revolutionary capability results in a remarkable 67% reduction in the number of antennas required compared to conventional solutions as typically, three antennas are needed to achieve the same level of coverage. Moreover, this is the first solution that can support carrier aggregation (CA) on RFUs (outdoor units). CA reduces the number of RFUs needed by 75%. Using cutting-edge transmit power technology and algorithms, the solution improves the transmit power of RFUs by 3–5 dB, which eliminates the need for larger-diameter antennas for CA. When CA is not needed, smaller-diameter antennas can be used to save tower space and load bearing capacity.

Depending on the deployment conditions and bands used, Huawei's MAGICS LH solution can deliver more than 20 Gbps bandwidth over 50 km, representing an outstanding 300% increase in bandwidth compared to conventional solutions, while using 70% less hardware.

During the Baotou test, a microwave link spanning 36 km was deployed using the 12+12 SD scheme with 1.8 m and 1.2 m antennas. The link covered the L6 GHz and U6 GHz bands, as well as the 7 GHz, 8 GHz, and 11 GHz bands. The test results revealed that this link delivered 10 Gbps bandwidth for 5G service backhaul between two sites, which is 200% higher than the largest-capacity microwave link currently deployed elsewhere in Inner Mongolia's live network. Furthermore, this link demonstrated exceptional stability over a two-month monitoring period.


MAGICS LH long-haul microwave solution being tested by China Unicom Inner Mongolia and Huawei in Baotou, Inner Mongolia.

Han Xiaodong, Deputy General Manager of China Unicom Baotou, said: "As a critical mobile backhaul method, microwave has always been key to improving user experience. Huawei's MAGICS LH long-haul microwave solution enhances hardware performance, reduces power consumption, and optimizes TCO, resulting in rapid and top-notch network coverage in remote areas. This development has been a boon to China Unicom's network construction efforts."

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