Giga Mobile, the New Benchmark of the MBB Era
Why Gbps ?
Gbps represents a significant increase in the peak rate, which is five times or more than the 150 Mbps peak rate currently provided by 4G. Today's 4G networks can support high-definition (HD) video and audio, web browsing, social media, and similar services. However, it won’t be long before higher peak rates are required to support 2K/4K video, virtual reality, enhanced reality, telemedicine, and other new services. For example, virtual reality requires 1Gbps to ensure user experience, which can only be available on a 4.5G network.
Gbps increases the average capacity of a single 4.5G site to 600Mbps, which is six times that of a single 4G site. The high penetration rate of smartphones drives the rapid growth of video traffic on platforms such as YouTube. Video traffic accounts for over 50% of total traffic on many 4G networks. Each subscriber consumes on average more than 3GB of traffic per month, increasing by 60% each year. Network capacities must be expanded to accommodate more video service connections.
Gbps increases the cell edge rate of a 4.5G cell so that the rate is 10 times that of a 4G cell. This ensures an unintereupted user experience at the cell edge when watching HD videos or performing other latency-sensitive services.
How Gbps ?
Gbps is implemented through 4x4 MIMO, 3D beamforming, 4CC/5CC CA, 256 QAM, and other technologies.
4x4 MIMO: The eNodeB can transmit signals over four transmit channels. The signals can be received by the UE on two or four receiver channels, depending on the UE capability. 4x4 MIMO makes full use of space dimension and greatly improves spectral and power efficiency.
3D beamforming: Beams of a cell are vertically and horizontally split through the multi-antenna technology. This greatly increases the cell capacity and cell edge rate.
4CC/5CC CA: Four or five carriers are randomly aggregated to increase the user peak rate, cell edge rate, and average cell rate.
256 QAM: This high order modulation technology improves the peak rate by 33%, as compared with 64 QAM.
The target rate of Gbps proposed by Huawei promotes the development of chips and terminals supporting multi-antenna, multi-carrier aggregation, and 256 QAM technologies. Both Snapdragon 820 and HiSilicon Kirin 950, respectively unveiled by Qualcomm and Huawei at the end of 2015, support 4x4 MIMO, 256QAM, and CA with over 3CC. These two chips will become a standard configuration for medium- and high-end smartphones in 2016, significantly contributing to the commercialization of 4.5G.
Large-Scale Commercial Use of 4.5G in 2016
Huawei launched the concept of 4.5G in 2014, teasing the introduction of Gbps connections. Since then, world-leading operators in cooperation with Huawei started deploying gigabit-capable 4.5G networks.
At the 2015 Global MBB Forum held this past November, HKT (a Hong Kong telecom operator) demonstrated the downlink peak rate of 1.2 Gbps by using 4CC CA (with a total of 70 MHz bandwidth), 4x4 MIMO, and 256 QAM.
In December 2015, TeliaSonera (a Norwegian telecom operator) and Huawei announced in Oslo the deployment of the world's first LTE-Advanced Pro (4.5G) network with an outdoor peak rate reaching 1 Gbps. This 4.5G network is the fastest mobile network around the world.
As of now, telecom operators in Europe, Middle East, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, and Canada have tested the data rate of 1Gbps on their commercial networks. It is expected that a great number of 4.5G networks will be under construction in 2016, making 1Gbps a new benchmark rate for mobile broadband networks. As a strategic partner to global leading telecom operators, Huawei will continue to help telecom operators construct ultra-broadband mobile networks to expand their business opportunities and to build a fully connected world.