Global ICT solutions provider Huawei says its CloudAIR solution will benefit South African and African carriers who are affected by a lack of spectrum but have a need to improve both coverage and capacity.
“With the rapid development of mobile broadband (MBB) services, operators are concerned about heavy network load, poor user experience, and traffic suppression. They are looking for more spectrum and ways to improve spectrum efficiency,” says David Chen, director of marketing and solution sales at Huawei Southern Africa Region.
But, currently in the African market, allocated licensed spectrum for mobile operators is almost half than in the developed markets. In addition, the deployment of 3G and LTE in the lower band is hindered by GSM occupation. New band and new site deployment come at a high cost, both in investment and lengthy time to market.
Huawei CloudAIR allows different radio access technologies (RAT) to share spectrum resources dynamically instead of using traditional refarming. This works via an on-demand spectrum allocation method which replaces dedicated spectrum allocation. This enables the operator’s spectrum to serve as GSM, UMTS and LTE simultaneously.
“With Huawei CloudAIR, carriers can improve their 3G/LTE based MBB network, both in terms of coverage and capacity by easily deploying 3G and LTE in lower band which helps their customers not only stay longer on MBB network but also enjoy a better experience; this results in more data traffic and consequently more revenue for carriers,” says Chen.
At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this February, Huawei and Telkomsel (Indonesia’s largest mobile operator with more than 190-million subscribers) announced the successful commercial deployment of the CloudAIR 2.0 solution, an innovation which improves on the original solution. Trials on Telkomsel’s live network showed the introduction of Huawei CloudAIR increased the LTE user downlink speed throughput by 116%, from 50Mbps to 108Mbps.
In addition, the implementation of channel cloudification technology improved the carrier’s aggregation coverage for outdoor areas by 21,4%, as well as two to three times user experience improvement for indoor areas.
GU5M (GU CloudAIR solution) can provide extensive 3G coverage and expand capacity in existing sites with low total cost of ownership (TCO). This will mean the revenue from data services is expected to grow rapidly. Another benefit of Huawei CloudAIR is that operators do not need to worry about setting timeline for phasing out legacy RAT, as spectrum resources are scheduled on-demand depending on the traffic pattern among different RATs.
“We see Huawei CloudAIR as a quick win solution for African carriers facing a lack of spectrum countered by the need to provide better customer experience while maximizing their network investment return,” says Chen.