Huawei has released its new 5G microwave solution with “1+2” simplified architecture ahead of next week’s AfricaCom 2019.

The space-saving solution allows for more efficiency in the use of space on cell towers, decreasing antennas that are mounted on them.

The microwave solution is the first of its kind in the industry. With one dual band antenna, plus two any band (6-86GHz) RF unit, the simplified architecture allows 5G microwave for providing up to 20+Gbps bandwidth capacity for all backhaul scenarios at the same time.

David Chen, director of marketing and solution sales for Huawei Southern Africa Region, says: “This solution can decrease tower space by 50%, which can be directly translated to engineering cost saving for operators. This solution is future-oriented, since it provides fiber-like capacity in the air, allowing for smooth evolution to 5G.”

Microwave is the mainstream solution for mobile broadband backhaul in Africa, with more than 70% of wireless stations using microwave backhaul. With the increase of transmission capacity required by LTE/4G and 5G, microwave backhaul capacity will need to grow accordingly. Therefore traditional microwave will face the challenges such as insufficient tower space and spectrum, difficultly to upgrade and high cost of tower climbing.

Operators usually need more than one frequency band to accommodate the traffic, which means additional antenna is required on the tower. This usually causes congestion on cell towers.

With Huawei’s “1+2” 5G Microwave architecture, one dual band antenna can support any 2 frequency band running at 6-86GHz.

Chen says with this solution, operators are able to fully explore cell towers to its maximum potential. “Saving space on towers is saving TCO (total cost of operations).”