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Huawei Releases the LTE&NR Coordination Solution, Significantly Improves 5G Era Network Efficiency and User Experience

Oct 16, 2019

[Zurich, Switzerland, October 16, 2019] Huawei released the LTE&NR coordination solution at the Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2019 (MBBF2019). This solution enables multi-level coordination between LTE and NR, including network coordination, experience coordination, spectrum coordination, and operation coordination. Such coordination will enable telecom operators to maximize the efficiency of their mobile network infrastructure while significantly improving user experience in the 5G era.

Network Coordination Improves 5G Online Rate

3GPP has defined two network architectures for 5G: NSA and SA. With NSA, 5G control plane data is carried over 4G networks, while 5G user plane data is carried on both 4G and 5G networks. Existing 5G networks and those under construction are all NSA-based. Via this architecture, the selection of 4G carrier by 5G terminals directly affects 5G user experience. Our tests on 5G commercial network found that incorrect 4G carrier selection resulted in failures to access 5G networks even 5G signals are good, compromising 5G user experience.

Network coordination helps 5G terminals select the most suitable 4G carrier as anchor carrier based on 4G coverage, load, and interference, enabling user always connected to 5G networks, no matter stationary or on the move. In this way, an optimal 5G user experience is delivered with maximum 5G network utilization.

Experience Coordination Improves 5G User Experience

3GPP-defined Multi-Radio Dual Connection (MR-DC) enables 5G UEs to simultaneously connect to 4G and 5G for data transmission. This greatly improves UE throughput, particularly when UEs are at the edge of 5G cells. 5G tests on commercial networks revealed that enabling MR-DC leads to a 26% increase in the average throughput for 5G users.

Huawei's SuperBAND 2.0 based experience coordination further enhances standard MR-DC by applying unified scheduling between 4G sub-3 GHz bands and 5G band, such as C-Band. At the same time, network gridding and AI technology automatically identifies 4G and 5G signal strength and transmission capability at current location. Based on these results, carriers capable of delivering an optimal experience are selected to activate DC quickly, and the data dispatched to 4G and 5G are scheduled in real-time, so as to achieve the best possible 5G experience.

Spectrum Coordination Increases Spectrum Utilization

Based on CloudAIR, spectrum coordination improves spectrum utilization by dynamically allocating spectrum resources between 4G and 5G base on their traffic distribution. There are two typical application scenarios:

  1. Coordination on C-Band or TDD 2.6 GHz band which is used for early 5G networks. As 5G is still in the early stage, 5G traffic accounts only for a small proportion of the total. Spectrum coordination is used to dynamically allocate spectrums to 4G and 5G users based on 4G and 5G loads. This improves spectrum utilization while ensuring an optimal 5G user experience.
  2. Coordination on FDD 2.1 GHz band. Spectrum sharing is used to allocate spectrums to 4G and 5G users. This improves spectrum utilization while enhancing 5G uplink coverage and improving the quality of 5G networks.

Operation Coordination Simplifies 5G Deployment

New 5G networks are closely related to 4G networks, requiring NSA site, anchor camping, and priority, neighbor relationship, and handover parameter configurations to accommodate coordination between 4G and 5G. These configurations require engineering parameters, spectrum, coverage, and other information as inputs. Initial configuration and subsequent optimizations are labor intensive. Huawei's operation coordination automatically detects network status by grid and AI technologies. Based on these detection results, related parameters are adaptively configured and adjusted to effectively accelerate 5G deployment. In some cases, network coordination reduces parameter configuration time by more than 80% while also reducing the network optimization workload by more than 60%.

4G networks serve as the foundation for 5G networks. Both 4G and 5G will continue to coexist and evolve in parallel for a long time to come. The advantageous coverage of 4G networks will enable operators to deliver improved user experiences and maximize return on investment (ROI). Cao Ming, President of Huawei LTE Domain, said: "Huawei proactively identifies the network characteristics and challenges in this new era and proposes an innovative LTE&NR coordination solution. We aim to enable operators to make full use of existing 4G networks through close coordination between 4G and 5G, thereby improving overall network efficiency and achieving 5G era business success."

The 2019 Global Mobile Broadband Forum is attended by more than 1,600 people from operators, industries, vertical markets, standard and industry organizations, as well as media and analyst firms, from all over the world. Demonstrations on site showcase the latest 5G technology solutions, commercial cases and the rich applications including 5G cloud AR/VR, live 8K broadcast over 5G, and machine vision and remote control powered by 5G, etc. For more details, please visit: www.huawei.com/en/press-events/events/global-mbb-forum-2019/