In what they believe to be a global first, MTN SA has commercially deployed Huawei’s CloudAIR 2.0 solution for sharing spectrum between 2G, 3G, 4G and NB-IoT radio technologies in the 900MHz band.

MTN SA and Huawei established a Joint Innovation Programme in 2017 to research and trial technologies like CloudAIR 2.0.

Huawei CloudAIR 2.0 supports overlap of 2G, 3G, 4G and NB-IoT services in the 900MHz spectrum band, which should enable MTN SA to make more efficient use of its limited 900MHz spectrum allocation, and achieve a 45% increase in LTE throughput within the band.

Giovanni Chiarelli, chief technology and information officer at MTN SA, says: “Spectrum is an extremely precious asset. This new network optimisation technique improves spectral efficiency and gives MTN the ability to deploy LTE within the same 900MHz band alongside GSM, UMTS and NB-IoT, while significantly improving LTE coverage and user experience.”

Edward Deng, president of wireless network product line at Huawei, says: “The spectrum cloudification sharing capabilities of CloudAIR 2.0 enable the deployment of different radio access technologies within the same spectrum. This solution can allocate and adjust spectrum resources according to the changes of mobile traffic and avoid legacy radio access technologies from occupying prime spectrum, thereby improving spectral efficiency.

“CloudAIR 2.0 is a valuable solution that can hasten radio technology evolution, to increase network capacity, and improve customer experience,” he adds.