China Unicom, Huawei Initiate 5G Indoor Distributed Massive MIMO

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China Unicom and Huawei have jointly announced the initiation of the innovative 5G Indoor Distributed Massive MIMO solution.

This solution applies 5G Massive MIMO technology to indoor networks to significantly grow 5G capacity. It marks a significant breakthrough of 5G technology in indoor networks.

In the first year of 5G commercial deployment, China Unicom has successfully deployed 5G digital indoor systems in key scenarios across China’s major cities. It has also integrated 5G with artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing in various industrial solutions.

A number of showcase projects have been completed, including telemedicine and smart travel. According to the new-infrastructure requirements released by the Chinese government in March, 5G networks must provide wider indoor coverage and stronger capabilities to accelerate the applications in vertical industries and support the exploration of new business models.

These include telemedicine, distance education, and online office. Ensuring 5G indoor coverage while enabling support for differentiated industrial applications and long-term evolution has grown into a pressing priority.

The 5G Indoor Distributed Massive MIMO solution is developed based on Huawei’s leading 5G LampSite Digital Indoor System (DIS). It introduces the Massive MIMO technology to LampSite to form distributed Massive MIMO antenna arrays supporting up to 64T64R ability.

Through dynamic coordination among multiple digital indoor headends, the capacity on indoor networks becomes scalable, self-adapting to changes in data traffic. In addition, compared with the cell splitting approach, both interference and manual commissioning costs are significantly reduced, while also effectively increasing 5G indoor spectral efficiency. As a result, the networks support higher capacity and stronger capabilities. This innovation also provides an efficient solution to increasing the uplink capacity for the vertical industries.

Tang Xiongyan, a Chief Scientist of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute, said: “China Unicom will continue to build high-quality 5G networks that provide users with premium experiences and industries with optimal 5G solutions. China Unicom and Huawei have jointly achieved the world’s first commercial deployment of 300 MHz indoor ultra-bandwidth product. This will lay a solid foundation for the efficient deployment of 5G networks. In the future, high capacity and high value scenarios with scalable capacity requirements will increase. This requires network solution innovation beforehand to ensure that one-time deployment supports long-term service demand with minimum network modifications. 5G Indoor Distributed Massive MIMO is an innovation helping address this challenge. We will work with Huawei to verify and optimize this solution in multiple key heavy-traffic scenarios based on historical traffic, ensuring it can better meet indoor 5G demand and reduce the time for scaled commercialization.”

Ritchie Peng, CMO of Huawei’s Wireless Network Product Line, said: “Based on our long-term investment in indoor digitalization region, we released the full-scenario 5G DIS product and solutions in February 2020 to enable better indoor coverage and superior 5G networks. Faced with growing scalability demand for uplink and downlink capacity, we successfully introduced Massive MIMO technology to indoor networks in close collaboration with China Unicom. This technological breakthrough will substantially increase 5G capacity. We will continue to make technological innovations and develop leading solutions that address the exact requirements of customers.”