Huawei’s 5 Key Elements and Innovative Solutions for Optimal Development of Carrier Networks

Armita Satari

March 9, 2023

8 Min Read
Huawei’s 5 Key Elements and Innovative Solutions for Optimal Development of Carrier Networks

At Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2023 Huawei won the GTI’s ‘Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology Award’ and ‘Outstanding Award’ for its ‘Green Target Network’ programme.

These awards recognize Huawei’s contributions in advancing the mobile industry’s global climate actions as well as its energy-saving technology innovations and industry collaboration.

At MWC we spoke to Jiang Xudong, President of Huawei SingleRAN Product Line, about operator environmental sustainability, as well as how to improve energy efficiency and network performance.


As operators are increasingly focused on environmental sustainability, how can they save energy and reduce emissions, and what should vendors do to help them?

As we know, ICT like 5G is accelerating digitization and decarbonisation of industries. According to TSN, a one-kilowatt hour of power used by the ICT sector will lead to a 10-kilowatt hour reduction of electricity consumption in other industries and operators are making full use of the enablement effects of 5G.

Let me share with you some statistics. Let’s take China Mobile as an example. In 2020 every terabyte of data consumed by the IT sector by China Mobile has helped other industries reduce 115 kilogrammes of co2 in the past five years. China Mobile has helped other industries reduce 800 million tonnes of co2.

You know, right now mobile technologies are advancing quickly, but the improvement in energy efficiency cannot keep up with users’ rapidly rising demand for mobile equipment. We can see operators are accelerating user migration towards 5G to take full advantage of the high energy efficiency of 5G technology. They are also implementing green and innovative solutions on live networks to lower power consumption and increased energy efficiency.

Huawei will push through innovation in three aspects: efficient equipment, site linkage, and intelligent networks. Our aim is to help operators build networks that excel in both performance and energy efficiency. Huawei will focus on technological innovation and industry collaboration to guide operators towards the green target networks. We will also work widely with operators around the world to build 5G target networks and help them achieve their energy saving goals.

How would you compare the use of active antenna units (AAU) with remote radio units (RRU) in 5G – in terms of both capacity and energy efficiency?

To answer your question AAU adopts the massive MIMO technology compared with RRU it has multiple channels and high bandwidth. This can improve capacity significantly. The peak capacity of 64T64R (T: transmitter R: receiver) AAU is 20 times higher than that of 4T4R RRU.

As mobile networks advanced quickly, we believe massive MIMO is the perfect choice to support rapid continuous improvement in capacity. And we believe massive MIMO will be able to deliver quality network performance and high capacity. Massive MIMO’s energy efficiency is also 20 times higher than that of 4T4R so it’s an improvement in energy efficiency across generations.

Huawei is also innovating its AAU and RRU. Now our AAU has evolved to this third generation and energy efficiency of the second generation of AAU is 40% higher than that of the first generation and energy efficiency of the third generation is 30% higher than the second generation. So as AAU evolves to the next generation, there will be significant energy efficiency gains, we can help operators further save energy. Right now, we have also made some breakthroughs in the third generation of AAU. Our AAU module can consume less than 10 Watts during low traffic hours, in a traditional solution.

We have also pursued innovation in terms of RRU it has evolved from single band to multiple band RRU. We have saved the usage of chips and components, brought down power consumption, and improve the energy efficiency for operators.

But going forward RRU and AAU will coexist, they can work together to further improve energy efficiency of the network. And in this way, we can help operators build a green network.

As the topic of power consumption has been greatly mentioned at this year’s MWC, have you made any announcements of new products that can bring energy savings?

At this year’s MWC we’re going to further elaborate on the three plus one green target network. First let me explain to you what we mean by this three plus one concept. One refers to the energy efficiency metric system. It’s aimed at guiding operators towards a green network. And the three represents our innovation in solutions in three aspects including green equipment, green sites, and green networks.

The focus of green development in the communications industry is expected to shift from reducing energy consumption to improving energy efficiency. Huawei is also guiding operators to shift their focus from just reducing power consumption to striking a balance between network performance and energy efficiency. And we have worked with dozens of operators to build green networks.

So, we’re going to provide solutions along the lines of equipment, networks, and sites to help customers build the best networks. First equipment, this year we have launched the meta hu it has brought down energy consumption by another 30%. It also has the super deep dormancy feature. It allows carriers to shut down the AAU during low traffic hours. For example, at night so they can save energy without compromising user experience.

In terms of site innovation, our solution allows the main equipment of the site to perceive information of the environment, including power supply, and other auxiliary equipment such as AC temperature. This solution achieves intelligent linkage between the service and auxiliary equipment to lower that energy consumption. Take the linkage between service and AC temperature during low traffic hours the temperature can be adjusted in real time to save energy.

In terms of networks, this year we have brought to market the iPowerStar. It is driven by customer intent, and it aims to deliver optimal performance and energy efficiency. Take the QuadBand network as an example, iPowerStar enables all day energy saving, it can double the energy saving compared with a traditional solution by saving around 30% of network energy while meeting performance KPIs.

Huawei is constantly innovating. We’re also working on some new technologies at the moment. They will be brought to market at MBBF this year and MWC 2024 to further save energy.

Can you tell us more about GreenSite 2.0 launched this year?

First, I want to talk a bit about GreenSite 1.0, which we launched last year. It achieves that linkage between our service and communications equipment. In terms of GreenSite 2.0, the main equipment RRU AAU with this solution we can perceive information of the environment, including power supply and power consumption and we can manage the site as a whole we do energy saving energy saving goals are automatically set. And this solution can also do intelligent orchestration of energy saving policies to maximise energy saving.

Huawei is the first in the industry to achieve linkage between services and auxiliary equipment. Through such linkage we can improve energy efficiency of sites end to end, continue to bring down energy consumption, and bring new energy saving performance to operators.

What is the overall direction of site energy savings in the industry, why does Huawei need to collaborate in this area and what are your suggestions for further industry development?

In the past couple of years Huawei, just like many other operators in the market, have exerted great efforts to bolster the energy efficiency of equipment and bring down power consumption. In addition, we have introduced the green power such as PV and wind power to help operators save energy and achieve their energy efficiency goals.

This year Huawei is advocating for linkage between main equipment of the site and the auxiliary equipment such as AC and power supply. So, what we’re after is a coordinated energy saving solution will help this has the potential to maximise energy saving.

Let me give an example during low traffic hours, like I was mentioning earlier, we could dynamically adjust the AC temperature to save energy without triggering high temperature alarms.

Another example is about that backup power or batteries during low traffic (low price) off peak hours, we can recharge the batteries and during high traffic (high price) hours we can let the batteries discharge. Usually, the price gap of electric between peak hour and off peak is 5~10 times. This way we can make full use of batteries and lower their fees.

According to our statistics, such precise linkage between services and auxiliary equipment can drive up energy efficiency by another 15%.

What else has Huawei planned for site innovation in the future?

One, to run a side linkage as I touched upon earlier. The second thing is we are also calling on the whole industry to focus on not just improving energy efficiency, but also balancing energy efficiency and network performance will help to build networks that deliver optimal performance and energy efficiency.

But striking such a balance will not be easy. The good thing is this year we have launched the intelligent solution. We think intelligence can play a critical part in helping us achieve this target. Because with intelligence, the network or our solution can understand customer’s intent so we can meet their service requirements while also saving energy which way we can have very robust and healthy development of the network.

We have done a lot of exploration in terms of striking a balance between the two. As we know network performance requirements vary by the service type. So, we have divided networks into different categories: networks for the CBD for rural areas for schools, just to name a few. And then we provide targeted and saving solutions.

We think networks with optimal performance and energy efficiency is an inevitable trend in the telecom industry. We hope we can work with partners to innovate solutions and introduced intelligence to realise this goal so that networks can excel in both performance and energy efficiency.

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