Huawei Driving Innovation in Antenna Design for 5G


Huawei recently released a new technology for antennas CableFree. The new technology will enable base station antennas to significantly improve in multiple key capabilities, including integration, radiation efficiency, and power capacity. This marks a new stage of antenna development in the 5G era.

5G has seen more bands introduced and higher-order MIMO applied to mobile networks. This leads to an excessive increase in the internal complexity of multi-band antenna structure, placing antenna design under vast challenges in multiple areas.

These include antenna performance, power capacity, reliability, and production efficiency. Huawei’s CableFree technology breaks the bottleneck in current antenna design to substantially improve antenna performance and meet 5G construction requirements.

1. Exceptional high-band coverage for 5G. The introduction of high frequency bands in 5G requires antenna gains to be significantly increased to provide wide coverage. This further mandates multi-band coordination to complete such wide coverage. A typical example is to utilize 1.8 GHz and 2.1 GHz bands to implement 5G uplink coverage. Therefore, high-band coverage is essential for ensuring 5G experience consistency. CableFree improves antenna radiation efficiency by approximately 20%, boosting high-quality coverage of the 5G era.

2. Higher output power to facilitate 5G multi-band and multi-channel applications. 5G is designed to meet high-capacity and high-speed requirements, and this highlights the necessity of introducing new spectrum and deploying high-order MIMO technology. To adapt to this trend, antennas must accommodate a high power of up to 1 kW, far above 500 to 600 watts of previous radio access technologies. CableFree increases the antenna power capacity by more than 80%, meeting the requirements for higher output power in the 5G era.

3. Reduced antenna weight to facilitate installation. A higher level of antenna component integration offers an effective approach to reduce antenna weight. With CableFree, a six-band antenna can be 10 kg lighter. The weight of multi-band antennas can be kept below 50 kg. As a result, a crane is not required during installation, simplifying installation and reducing cost.

4. Better PIM performance. PIM is short for passive intermodulation, reflecting signal interaction at the junction of two metal mechanical components of antennas. CableFree reduces screws and soldering points in antennas by 80%, reducing PIM risks while also ensuring long-term PIM stability. The resulting novel architecture and process further improve production automation and consistency among batches.

CableFree features a number of revolutionary technologies and techniques, including cable-free feeding and integrated phase shifters. This produces a distinct increase in antenna integration, tangibly improving antenna performance. To date, CableFree has been successfully applied to Huawei’s Munich Pro, Golden Mini, and London Pro series antennas, as well as 32T32R Massive MIMO products, helping customers quickly deploy high-quality 5G networks.

Zhang Jiayi, President of Huawei Antenna Business Unit, said: “Antennas are crucial for 5G networks. Higher performance and integration are the main trends of antenna innovation in the 5G era. CableFree breaks the antenna design bottleneck, representing an inevitable trend of the antenna industry. Huawei always innovates based on customer requirements for 5G target networks to help customers build efficient and high-performance networks and achieve business success in the 5G era.”