To date, over 1.5 million 5G base stations have been deployed globally, and 176 commercial 5G networks are providing 5G services to more than 520 million users. The 5G device ecosystem is also maturing quickly. More than 1,000 5G devices have been released worldwide, including mobile phones, home CPEs, and industrial modules.
This fast growth of 5G is changing user requirements — demanding a better, uninterrupted experience. At the same time, the push toward carbon neutrality is putting pressure on the mobile communications industry to go green, which in turn calls for more environmentally-friendly products and solutions.
Released in October this year, Huawei's 64T64R MetaAAU is the ideal solution to improve both network performance and energy efficiency using innovative hardware and software. For hardware, MetaAAU introduces the extremely large antenna array (ELAA) which enables 384 antenna elements, double that of a conventional AAU (192). ELAA is combined with ultra-light integrated array and signal direct injection feeding (SDIF) to improve both coverage and integration. For software, MetaAAU utilizes the Adaptive High Resolution (AHR) Turbo algorithm to enable precise, dynamic, and targeted beamforming, significantly improving user experience and cell capacity. This hardware/software combo marks a new breakthrough in Massive MIMO coverage and energy efficiency.
In comparison with conventional 64T64R AAU and 32T32R AAU, MetaAAU improves coverage by 3 dB and 6 dB and user experience metrics by 30% and 60%, respectively. For example, in one of its flagship projects — 5G Capital that brings 5G to every corner of Beijing — China Unicom Beijing is using MetaAAU to add 30% in both uplink and downlink coverage along with 25% better experience among cell edge users.
MetaAAU is also a powerful energy-saving tool. It allows base stations to achieve the same level of coverage for cell edge users but with a lower transmit power, reducing energy consumption by approximately 30% over conventional AAUs. This has also been tested in the 5G Capital project.
With its advantages in energy efficiency and coverage, MetaAAU is slated for success. Going green is now a global objective — for example, 26 CEOs of European ICT companies have committed to combat climate change with the European Green Digital Coalition (EGDC). At the same time, 5G network coverage requirements will only continue to grow, rolling out 5G in rural and urban, outdoor and indoor contexts. Leading next-gen ICTs will be key in delivering on both demands; and Huawei's MetaAAU stands to be part of the innovation portfolio.