HKT and Huawei Offer Hong Kong’s First 5G All-Fiber Shared Indoor Digital Network on New Mass Transit Railway Line

HKT and Huawei are building Hong Kong’s first all-fiber mobile network architecture on an Mass Transit Railway (MTR) line which uses an innovative Digital Indoor System (DIS) to enable multiple operators sharing the network to provide ubiquitous high-quality mobile broadband (MBB) service to their customers. This network infrastructure has the capability to evolve into future-oriented 5G networks without the need for additional cabling.

The DIS is deployed on the Shatin to Central Link (SCL) which is a new metro line of Mass Transit Railway under construction. The Central station is an important hub in the Golden Bay Area of Victoria Harbour. Connecting Hong Kong Island and the New Territories, this 17-kilometer line has a total of 10 train stations.

The indoor network for the SCL is constructed by HKT as the lead operator and will be shared by all mobile operators in Hong Kong. This shared indoor network is based on Huawei’s LampSite Sharing solution, which allows multiple operators to share a common indoor network where radio headends of high, medium, and small power specifications can be co-deployed. The major advantage of the network is its all-fiber DIS solution, which allows network upgrade to 5G using 3.5 GHz frequency band without the need for additional cabling.

Unlike traditional Distributed Antenna System (DAS) solutions that depend on passive coaxial cables, this solution allows the cables to be decoupled from frequency bands, radio access technologies, and multi-antenna technologies while delivering a huge capacity. As both 4G and 5G networks can be deployed based on the same architecture and using the same site locations, this solution allows a more flexible and smooth transition to a 5G indoor network.

Dr. Henry Wong, Head of Strategic Wireless Technology and Core Networks of HKT Engineering, said, “We are committed to providing users with high speed MMB service and wide network coverage for the best possible user experience. Large public venues and locations such as metro stations and lines, shopping malls, airport, etc. demand a large capacity to meet the diversified service requirements, creating the need for onward evolution into 5G for technological and economic reasons. Huawei’s digital network sharing solution perfectly meets such requirements in many ways.”

Mr. Ritchie Peng, President of Huawei Small Cell Product Line, said, “We are happy to open a new chapter of all-fiber architecture with HKT. Indoor places vary a lot and have diverse requirements, requiring differentiated solutions. The rapid MBB development also requires operators to focus on 5G in their network construction. Huawei is always a good advocate and exerciser of indoor digitalization. We are dedicated to offering more competitive indoor digital solutions to help our partners maximize the value of their networks.”