China Mobile Sichuan and Huawei recently jointly built the world’s first 2.6GHz 4G and 5G concurrent integrated network demonstration area. The program has been successful, due to Huawei’s pioneering and innovative SingleRAN technology. It realizes co-site, co-coverage and concurrent of 4G and 5G with one deployment of single Massive MIMO AAU. This technology achieves “one deployment for 4G & 5G, benefiting both RATs”: 4G networks maintain the leadership, 5G networks pioneer the industry, and existing investments are protected to a maximum extent. This deployment will be the mainstream of evolution to 5G networks.
Operators faces multiple challenges related to the upcoming commercial deployment of 5G. Currently, some of the most pressing issues are how to maintain 4G networks’ leading position, how to use 4G resources to rapidly deploy high-quality 5G networks, and how to improve the efficiency of network operation and maintenance.
China mobile’s innovative 4G and 5G integrated network uses pioneering Huawei 5G AAUs. Both the filter and working bandwidths support 160 MHz, which maximizes spectrum resources usage. In addition, 100 MHz NR and 60 MHz LTE TDD can be deployed on the same AAU module. This allows integrated 4G and 5G networks to be set up quickly, enabling quick provision of 4G and 5G services at the same time, and maintaining the leading user experience. In the future, remote one-click upgrades can achieve quick support for 160 MHz NR, which would avoid repeated site visits and deployment work.
A large quantity of sites was enabled in the demonstration area to form a continuous area with 4G and 5G co-coverage. On this live network, 4G(LTE TDD 60 MHz) was enabled with 3CC CA. The 4G network’s quality was stable with significantly improved network capacity, the average data rate for a single 4G user reached 110 Mbps. The 5G network also had stable performance, with data rates reaching a new high of 800 Mbps for a single 5G user (tested with the CPE). Two months after deployment, 4G traffic in the demonstration area has increased by 30%, and performance indicators such as MR coverage and call completion rate are rising steadily.
5G is now. China Mobile Sichuan and Huawei will continue their research into planning, constructing, maintaining, and optimizing 4G and 5G integrated networks. The two companies will use the findings from this research to build high-quality 5G networks and prepare network infrastructure for future commercial use of 5G networks.