China Unicom Picks Huawei to Bring Gigabit 5G to the National Stadium


During the commemoration of the 2021 World Telecommunication & Information Society Day (WTISD), China Unicom Beijing and Huawei unveiled a 5G indoor ubiquitous Gigabit network in the National Stadium, as a part of the joint 5G Capital initiative between them.

Combining the 5G LampSite digital indoor network products that support an ultra-wide bandwidth of 300 MHz and the innovative distributed Massive MIMO technology, the network delivers a perceived data rate of above 1 Gbps in 90% of the grandstand area.

This level of performance fulfills the requirement for ubiquitous Gigabit experience in the stadium, providing the infrastructure required to scale up smart applications, such as AR services in large stadiums.

Nicknamed the Bird’s Nest, the National Stadium is a 91,000-capacity comprehensive venue covering 258,000 m2 in Beijing. Large open areas with a high density of mobile users such as these represent a typical heavy-load scenario of mobile networks.

Large simultaneous sharing of images and videos and video calls over 5G networks during major events raise a tremendous capacity demand. At the same time, the increasingly popular AR technology enables users to enjoy more diverse content and services through their mobile phones and smart glasses while interacting with their surrounding environment for enhanced immersion, further raising the requirements on network experience. Delivering ubiquitous high-speed experience has already become a priority in network construction among global carriers.

China Unicom Beijing used Huawei’s indoor digital small cells that support a bandwidth of up to 300 MHz to build the network. The field tests showed that the downlink peak throughput reached 12 Gbps with a continuous 300 MHz bandwidth in the 3.3–3.5 GHz band. This optimal uplink and downlink experience enables both the ultra-high uplink speeds of ToB services and ultra-large capacity of ToC services. Realizing a ubiquitous Gigabit experience in large heavy-traffic stadiums marks a new leap toward enhancing network experience.

Distributed Massive MIMO is vital to greatly improve 5G performance and support 5G ubiquitous Gigabit networks. Incorporating the leading technologies of outdoor 5G Massive MIMO into indoor networks, distributed Massive MIMO provides indoor networks with joint beamforming and multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) to enhance both the 5G network capacity and user experience. It improves signal quality by eliminating the co-channel interference on multi-cell networks to provide a high-speed and high-quality experience in most areas with 5G coverage. The field results showed an improvement of over 30% in user-perceived speed and consistent Gigabit experience for users on the move.

Yang Peng, Deputy General Manager of China Unicom Beijing’s Network Division, said: “By jointly initiating the 5G Capital initiative with Huawei, we aim to build ubiquitous high-quality 5G networks. With the deployment of the 300-MHz LampSite pRRUs and distributed Massive MIMO in the National Stadium, China Unicom Beijing can now provide the ultra-large network capacity required to provide the audience with immersive experience while preparing networks for smart applications such as AR with ubiquitous Gigabit connections.”

Marvin Chen, President of Huawei DIS Product Line, said: “Distributed Massive MIMO introduces Massive MIMO to the digital headends of indoor networks. Due to this innovative application, up to 64T64R transmission is now possible in indoor networks, adding to new tools carriers can leverage to provide ubiquitous Gigabit experience in indoor areas. Huawei will continue to innovate network solutions to help carriers achieve ToB and ToC success.”