Wednesday, April 12, 2017

3 Hong Kong Upgrading Mobile Network using Huawei for 5G

Huawei announced an agreement with 3 Hong Kong, the mobile communications division of Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong under which it will implement a series of network upgrades designed to increase network capacity and coverage and prepare 3 Hong Kong's network for the 5G era.

Huawei noted that 3 Hong Kong is currently the only mobile operator in Hong Kong with 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2600 MHz spectrum bands in service. 3 Hong Kong is re-farming spectrum to improve bandwidth efficiency as customer data usage patterns change, and having already re-farmed its 900 MHz spectrum for 4G in 2016, plans to complete re-farming of its 2100 MHz spectrum for 4G service in the second half of this year.

By the end of the year, the operator expects to have completed re-farming of its spectrum so that all five bands will be available for 4G service to help meet customer demand for data services.

In addition, 3 Hong Kong plans to utilise CA (carrier aggregation) technology to deliver a network leveraging 5CC (5 component CA), designed to provide customers with improved mobile service.

Specifically, to provide higher bandwidth 3 Hong Kong will combine 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz x2 and 2600 MHz spectrums with FDD and TDD 5CC CA technology, together with 4 x 4 MIMO and 256QAM modulation. This technology upgrade will provide customers with compatible terminals with data download speeds of over 1.2 Gbit/s. 3 Hong Kong plans to launch this network by the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, in tandem with enhancing its 4.5G network, 3 Hong Kong is planning for the deployment of 5G technologies, including network cloudification solutions, to enable the launch of services once the relevant technology standardisation is finalised.

As part of this effort, Huawei enables network cloudification via its CloudEdge, CloudRAN and CloudAIR solutions. CloudEdge implements core network resources in the cloud, allowing flexible network configuration; CloudRAN serves to centralise the management of baseband configurations in the cloud; and CloudAIR 'cloudifies' the air interface enable dynamic adjustment of spectrum formats and allocation of spectrum resources based changing network traffic patterns.

Huawei stated that 3 Hong Kong has already deployed CloudEdge technology on its core network, and is currently applying CloudRAN technology to its wireless access network. The operator is also planning to deploy CloudAIR technology to complete cloudification of its network.

Additionally, 3 Hong Kong is developing massive MIMO technology, and has deployed a massive MIMO base station with 2300 MHz TDD in Causeway Bay that has been utilised in field testing. Huawei noted that the test results indicate that a massive MIMO base station can provide over six times the capacity of a conventional 4G base station with the same spectrum with TDD single carrier of 20 MHz bandwidth.

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