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The Digitalization Of Indoor Coverage Determines The Success Or Failure Of 5G

The digitalization of indoor coverage determines the success or failure of 5G

The 5G era is approaching, and the world's major operators are actively exploring the construction of 5G networks, of which indoor networks are considered to be the high-value core of mobile networks. A few days ago, at the OTF2018 (Operation Transformation Summit) held in Munich, Huawei and Hong Kong Telecom (HKT) and the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) released the "Indoor 5G Network White Paper", the demand for indoor networks from 5G services, and the stock network. The evolution, the challenges faced by the target network construction, and the network construction strategy, elaborated on the indoor 5G network construction ideas, and pointed out the direction for jointly creating the 5G indoor coverage digital era. In this white paper, people can also see the recent practice and thinking, as well as the rich experience accumulated after the freezing of the 5G standard, which provides a good reference for operators to develop 5G services.

The core competitiveness of the 5G era depends on indoors

According to the GSA research report, as of July this year, six national operators around the world deployed standard 5G services, and Finland, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries have released 5G in some regions. Currently, 67 operators in 70 countries around the world have indicated that they will provide 5G-based commercial services, including 10 operators that are officially launched this year. This means that 5G has arrived!

The "Indoor 5G Network White Paper" states that more than 80% of the 4G mobile networks are indoors. With the continuous increase of 5G service types and the continuous expansion of industry boundaries, the industry predicts that more mobile services will occur indoors in the future. Therefore, the indoor mobile network in the 5G era is crucial and will become one of the core competitiveness of operators.

Danny Dicks, GSA's chief consultant, believes that 5G will bring smarter, richer business applications to smart homes, telemedicine, distance education, industrial manufacturing and the Internet of Things. Among them, high-definition video, AR, VR, telemedicine, industrial manufacturing automation, modern logistics management, etc. will mainly occur in indoor scenes of buildings. "In order to meet the requirements of the best user experience, efficient operation and maintenance, and intelligent operation, a digital indoor network must be built in the 5G era. Therefore, it is very important to deeply study the demand for network and the network construction strategy for indoor 5G services. Urgent work," Danny Dicks said.

Liang Shiming, general manager of Huawei's indoor coverage digital field, told reporters that the indoor network in the 2G era only focuses on coverage. The 3G and 4G eras only focus on data traffic. The indoor network in the 5G era will be the key to determining the success or failure of operators. In order to achieve a high-quality 5G experience, operators must build a digital indoor network in the 5G era, with the ability to flexibly expand, visually manage, and operate. "The only way to support ultra-wideband, large connections, ultra-low latency, indoor positioning and other rich indoor 5G services." Liang Shiming said.

In the process of building indoor 5G network, operators will face challenges in high-frequency networking, network capacity flexibility, network reliability, network efficient operation and maintenance, and intelligent operation. This requires network networking strategy and MIMO ( Multiple-Input Multiple-Output, multi-input and multi-out technology) technology selection, solution selection, capacity planning, network reliability, network operation and maintenance and operation, comprehensive consideration of indoor 5G target network construction strategy. According to Huawei's many years of exploration and practice, Liang Shiming believes that in terms of capacity strategy, it needs to have sufficient flexibility and flexibility to meet business needs on demand; in reliability strategy, it is necessary to design corresponding reliability for various 5G services; It needs to carry out end-to-end digital deployment, which lays the foundation for network operation and maintenance and operation. In the network operation and maintenance strategy, it must have visual operation and maintenance capability to realize indoor 5G network controllable and controllable; in the network operation strategy, it should pass The network operation platform supports the intelligent operation of indoor 5G networks.

The indoor coverage is justified

At present, many industries are aware that traditional systems have been unable to adapt to the new market environment, and actively explore the digital transformation of indoor coverage. The data shows that 80% of China's indoor coverage is using digital solutions. In the past four years, China's small base station shipments using digital solutions have grown dramatically, and the total number is expected to exceed 2 million in 2018, of which more than 1 million are from Huawei. Based on years of commercial experience, Huawei has proposed an end-to-end 5G indoor digital solution.

Indoor deployment must first develop scientific analysis and planning. Huawei has a sophisticated analysis system that can accurately identify hot spots and make accurate assessments in advance through big data analysis and 3D modeling. “Our analytics system consists of multiple dimensions to prioritize issues and allow operators to perform accurate analysis of indoor systems,” said Liang Shiming.

In the specific construction phase, an end-to-end digital deployment approach is required. Liang Shiming said that the deployment of indoor 5G networks should consider both the cost of deployment and the impact of the quality of the deployment phase on subsequent daily operations. In the past, indoor systems were manual and input operation methods, which took time and effort, and the subsequent operation and maintenance was very complicated. By digitally deploying, the one-to-one correspondence between the headend and the network management can be ensured. The system can accurately identify the specific location of the headend, thus paving the way for visual operation and maintenance and intelligent operation. Therefore, in the indoor 5G site selection, survey design, integration implementation, completion acceptance, etc., all need to be digitally deployed.

"To achieve end-to-end digitalization, we must use a unified digital integrated deployment platform to achieve data integration in site selection, survey, design, construction, and acceptance processes, ensure data unification, and complete indoor 5G network deployment with accuracy, efficiency, and high quality. For the efficient operation and maintenance, intelligent operation and maintenance to lay a solid foundation." Liang Shiming said.

With the increasing complexity of network facilities, network operation and maintenance has become a great burden for operators. To solve this problem, it is the only way to realize the controllable and controllable indoor 5G network by using the visual operation and maintenance system. According to Liang Shiming, in the 5G indoor digital solution, on which floor and where the problem occurs, the weak coverage area can be understood according to the location, grid, etc., and the call drop or fault can be actively processed.

In the 5G era, operators will have more and more types of services and application scenarios. How can we fully exploit the value of each business? Using the indoor network operation platform to realize the intelligent operation of the indoor 5G network is an effective strategy. On the one hand, through big data analysis, it can efficiently identify high-value businesses, quickly identify potential customers, and accurately market. On the other hand, it can build basic capabilities such as indoor location, user portrait, and data security through intelligent operations, and through open capabilities. Can be applied in the industry.

Liang Shiming told reporters that Huawei's 5G indoor coverage digital business solution takes into account multiple aspects such as planning, construction, operation, and long-term evolution, allowing customers and partners to achieve digital win-win. In the solution, Huawei also strives to form a rich ecosystem, so that OTT, third-party players, etc. become operators' partners rather than competitors, explore new business models, and change the situation that operators do not increase revenue.

At present, Huawei has established extensive capabilities and accumulated rich experience in indoor network consulting, scene planning, digital product and integration, and industrial ecology. "In the next five years, Huawei will continue to increase investment in the development of indoor digital business solutions, deepen cooperation with operators and industry partners, explore new business models, build a new industrial ecosystem, and jointly create a digital era of 5G indoor coverage. Liang Shiming said.

Hong Kong HKT shares the road to transformation

HKT (Hong Kong Telecom) is the largest telecom operator in Hong Kong, accounting for about one-third of the total. In the indoor scene, the share of HKT is higher, and 50% of Hong Kong indoor systems are built by HKT. At the press conference, Sheldon Yau, senior vice president of wireless network planning and design at HKT (Hong Kong Telecom), shared the road to digital transformation of its indoor coverage.

Sheldon Yau told reporters that over the years, HKT has been actively engaged in network transformation, and is also actively thinking about how indoor coverage is going to be digital. In recent years, HKT has increased traffic from indoors, and has exceeded 80% in 2018. With the arrival of 5G, the proportion of indoor scenes is only likely to be higher, but only 20% of the small base stations of HKT are deployed indoors. According to the traditional deployment method, more indoor sites need to be built to increase the indoor demand. However, when buildings, walls, etc. have a great influence on signals, simply adding outdoor sites is not the best strategy. “With the arrival of 5G, HKT urgently needs to address the issue of how to meet indoor traffic demands,” said Sheldon Yau.

In addition, the increase in revenue faced by domestic operators is not a big problem for HKT. According to Sheldon Yau, 4G users in Hong Kong have been rising since 2013 and now account for 80%, but the traffic growth brought by 4G has not been a good way to turn into revenue growth.

To this end, HKT began to transform from 2017 and established the 5G Ready project. HKT believes that the traditional passive room subsystem is difficult to meet the needs and challenges of indoor network upgrade and evolution in the 5G era. Only the innovative digital all-optical architecture can carry multiple systems and multiple services to support more services and faster. Experience rate, more flexible network expansion, more efficient end-to-end operation, and smoother 5G evolution, effectively respond to the growing business category and business experience needs of the 5G era.

For the opportunity to carry out the digital transformation of indoor coverage, Sheldon Yau believes that in the upcoming environment of 5G, mobile operators must invest in transformation as soon as possible. "Otherwise, you can't be a 5G enabler, and you will face more and bigger problems in the future," Sheldon Yau said. "So my suggestion is that the transformation must be done, and the sooner the better!"

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