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Significant progress in millimeter wave 5g!

Release date:2021-12-29Author source:KinghelmViews:490


one Global 5g commercial development: strong momentum

On the evening of July 3 Beijing time, 3GPP announced the freeze of rel-16 standard, marking the completion of the first evolved version of 5g standard. After the announcement of the freeze, the industry is boiling, and 5g commercial is expected to usher in a new wave of climax.

Rel-16 is the first mobile communication technology standard reviewed by online conference in 3GPP history. It can be seen that the epidemic has not affected the great enthusiasm of the global industry for 5g business. This can also be seen from the latest data released by industry organizations, mainstream equipment manufacturers and mainstream chip manufacturers.

According to the statistical results released by 5g Americas on June 24, despite the economic downturn affected by the epidemic, the global 5g network deployment and the number of 5g users still maintain a strong growth momentum - as of June 2020, there were 82 5g commercial networks in the world (the data released by the global mobile Providers Association on July 1 had reached 84), It is expected that the number of 5g commercial networks will more than double to 206 by the end of 2020; By the end of the first quarter of 2020, the number of global 5g connections had exceeded 63.6 million (an increase of 308.66% over the fourth quarter of 2019), and the number of 5g users had exceeded 100 million by the end of June.

The June 2020 "mobility report" released by Ericsson on June 16 predicts that the number of global 5g users will reach 190 million by the end of this year, while the November 2019 "mobility report" released last November is expected to be 100 million. Why nearly doubled the forecast? The June 2020 report said that it was mainly because the rapid popularity of 5g in China exceeded previous expectations.


Huawei's relevant forecasts are more optimistic. Gan bin, chief marketing officer of Huawei wireless network, pointed out at the "new infrastructure and enterprise digitization" forum held in GSMA on June 30 that China's 5g users will reach 6 million by the end of 2019, 100 million by June 2020 and 200 million by the end of the year.

The optimistic prediction of industry organizations and mainstream equipment manufacturers shows that the maturity of 5g industrial chain has reached a certain level and will be better and better. 5g commercial, look at the terminal. According to the latest data released by GSA, there are more than 100 5g commercial terminals worldwide, most of which use Qualcomm snapdragon 5g solutions. At present, more than 375 terminals using Qualcomm snapdragon 5g solutions (including 5g mobile phones, modules, mobile hotspots, CPE, PCs, etc.) have been released or are under design. Qualcomm's prediction of 5g commercial prospects is also very representative. On July 2, Cristiano Amon, President of Qualcomm, gave a keynote speech at the GTI online summit. At present, more than 320 operators are investing in 5g. It is expected that the shipment of 5g mobile phones will reach 750 million by 2022, the number of global 5g connections will exceed 1 billion in 2023 (two years faster than the speed of 4G to obtain the same number of connections), and the number of global 5g connections will reach 3 billion in 2025.


twoNew phenomenon: millimeter wave 5g commercial acceleration

Under the strong momentum of global 5g business mentioned above, 3GPP rel-16 standard can still freeze rapidly under the epidemic situation, reflecting the urgent demand of the global industry for 5g new systems with larger capacity, higher rate and lower delay after more than a year of 5g business. Rel-16 standardizes a number of millimeter wave related technologies, such as 5g vehicle networking, integrated access and return (IAB), 5g license free spectrum access (nr-u), carrier aggregation and dual connection enhancement, 5g terminal power saving technology, etc.

In the 5g commercial process, with the development of high-capacity, high-speed and low delay services, the communication frequency band is rapidly extending to the millimeter wave direction. According to the relevant report recently released by GSA, 97 operators in 17 countries / regions have obtained the millimeter wave spectrum use license, and 22 operators have deployed 5g commercial networks using the millimeter wave spectrum There are 84 announced 5g terminals supporting millimeter wave (59 at the end of November 2019). With this strong momentum, GSA expects that millimeter wave spectrum auction / distribution, millimeter wave network construction and millimeter wave terminal listing will continue to accelerate in the next few years. According to an Meng, President of Qualcomm, up to now, more than 120 operators have invested in millimeter wave and introduced it into 5g deployment.

It can be seen that more and more countries are supporting the deployment of millimeter wave 5g network. North American operators began to deploy millimeter wave 5g networks last year and further large-scale deployment this year. Some European countries have begun to deploy millimeter wave 5g. Italy and Russia are accelerating their support for millimeter wave 5g. Other European countries also plan to auction millimeter wave spectrum to 5g commercial later this year. Operators in South Korea, Japan, Australia and some Southeast Asian countries plan to start 5g millimeter wave deployment this year or next year.

China's intermediate frequency band 5g has been commercially available in 2019, and the millimeter wave 5g spectrum has not been officially released, but 24.75-27.5 GHz and 37-42.5 GHz have been approved as experimental bands. 5g millimeter wave technology based on massive MIMO tends to be mature and is expected to be commercially available from 2021 to 2022. At present, the development of millimeter wave 5g in China is also facing great opportunities. First, many policies are awesome, such as 5G's new infrastructure. For another example, the Ministry of industry and information technology confirmed on No. 49, 2020 that "the frequency use plan of some 5g millimeter wave bands shall be released in time", requiring "to organize and carry out millimeter wave equipment and performance test in combination with the national frequency planning schedule, so as to reserve for the commercial use of 5g millimeter wave technology". Second, the three major operators are actively carrying out large-scale 5g network construction. Third, the commercialization of millimeter wave 5g will bring potential huge benefits. GSMA related reports predict that millimeter wave 5g will bring more than $100 billion in economic benefits to China by 2034. Under the above three opportunities, it is expected that the domestic test work related to millimeter wave 5g will be carried out successively this year to further accelerate the millimeter wave spectrum distribution and further promote the commercial application of millimeter wave 5g in China.


threeThe five aspect: awesome performance of millimeter wave 5G

The reason why millimeter wave 5g commercial development has the above strong momentum at present is that 5g wechat public platform (ID: angmobile) believes that the following factors have brought confidence to global operators to vigorously develop millimeter wave 5g.

Technological progress excites the industry

When deploying millimeter wave 5g base stations in outdoor environment, it is difficult to build stations in dense urban areas and other high-value areas. Most of the selected stations have been built in the 3G / 4G era. This enormous challenge has been addressed. Through advanced beamforming technology, millimeter wave transmission of more than 150 meters can be realized at present. The related technologies have been verified not only by simulation experiments, but also in field tests, which means that the millimeter wave 5g base station can realize co location deployment with existing hot spots and small base stations.

In addition, in addition to line of sight transmission and fixed transmission, millimeter wave 5g NR can also realize non line of sight transmission, because the physical layer signal can support rapid adjustment and switching of nearby beams, so as to make good use of multipath and reflection. Ji Tingfang, senior director of Qualcomm engineering technology, introduced at the "GSMA thrive • everything Shenghui" millimeter wave forum that if a transmission path is blocked by hands or other parts of the body, you can quickly find a new transmission path by activating another module on the mobile phone. "We also extend this conversion from within the base station to between different base stations, which means that the switching of millimeter wave transmission between different base stations can also be realized quickly. This is a key solution for millimeter wave."

"Thanks to our advanced beam management algorithm, millimeter wave mobile phones can maintain high-speed network connection even in a variety of challenging environments." Introduction by Ji Tingfang.

Actual measurement on the current network confirms the high speed rate

With the rapid evolution and upgrading of wireless networks, the data volume and number of users of new mobile services show an exponential growth blowout, the demand for mobile data traffic also shows an explosive growth, and the demand for communication bandwidth and communication rate of various emerging mobile communication services also increases rapidly. In the millimeter wave band, a super wide bandwidth communication system up to 800MHz can be built, and the communication rate is up to 10Gbps, which can meet the requirements of ITU for 5g communication system. The built millimeter wave 5g network fully proves that millimeter wave 5g can bring users a higher speed connection experience in the actual use environment.

For example, a report released by opensignal, a network testing company, in early July showed that among all 5g commercial networks in the world, Verizon has the highest 5g downlink rate. This is precisely because Verizon has been using millimeter wave to build 5g network. Facing the mass consumer market, Verizon's millimeter wave 5g network deployment focuses on areas that greatly enhance value - the outdoor mobile 5g network rate in densely populated urban areas (such as business districts, parks and landmark places) has been delayed in time. As of June 2020, Verizon's millimeter wave 5g mobile service has been operating in 35 cities in the United States (it is planned to reach more than 60 cities by the end of the year), Millimeter wave 5g has been deployed in 17 gymnasiums and some venues in 7 indoor arenas.

As another example, ookla, the world's leading network insight and testing organization, conducted a large number of user network performance evaluation tests through its famous Speedtest application. The results show that in the United States, the peak rate of 5g millimeter wave terminals equipped with Qualcomm snapdragon mobile platform exceeds 2gbps, and the average download rate exceeds 900mbps, which is equivalent to more than four times the spectrum rate of 5g medium frequency band. (Note: relevant data are obtained based on the millimeter wave spectrum test with 400MHz bandwidth currently deployed. It is expected that the millimeter wave deployment will expand the bandwidth to 800MHz and double the current speed rate. Xiaolong 5g products have been able to support the millimeter wave connection with 800MHz bandwidth.)

The improvement of network capacity brought by millimeter wave 5g deployment can reduce the cost of unit bandwidth and support operators to continue to provide unlimited traffic packages under the background of expanding data traffic consumption scale. In addition, the great increase in speed can enable 5g end users to obtain a new mobile experience.

Excellent performance in vertical field

Global operators hope to develop the vertical field into the largest growth point of 5g system value, which needs to meet the customization needs of thousands of banks and industries, thus facing no small challenges. Verizon's successful practice shows that after the integration of millimeter wave 5g system with MEC and AI technologies, it can develop innovative deployment modes for various new services, provide intelligent solutions of "high-capacity and high-speed localization" for the coverage area, and meet the needs of customers in the vertical industry for low delay, large bandwidth and safe isolation.

Verizon has established six 5g laboratories in the United States and one 5g laboratory in London, and has cooperated with start-ups, universities and well-known companies to develop millimeter wave 5g use cases. Each laboratory focuses on a vertical field, such as financial services, robotics, public safety, entertainment and information technology. So far, Verizon millimeter wave 5g has a number of customers in the vertical industry. For example, Corning cooperated with Verizon to create a future 5g factory - the initial use cases focused on factory automation, contactless quality inspection and near real-time supply chain tracking. For another example, Emory healthcare cooperates with Verizon to accelerate the development of 5g medical applications, including medical training based on AR / VR, remote physical therapy, patient monitoring and emergency room preparation.

These examples show that mobile communication network operators can bring several Gbps rate, ultra-low delay and great capacity to enterprises, institutions, venues, transportation hubs and other indoor environments by deploying indoor millimeter wave 5g private network.

The terminal industry is awesome.

The strong development momentum of the above-mentioned millimeter wave 5g commercial terminal is one of the key factors. According to the relevant report recently released by GSA, 84 terminals supporting millimeter wave band in the world have been released or are under design (59 at the end of November 2019). Almost all Xiaolong 5g solutions are adopted. 5g wechat public platform (ID: angmobile) learned that many domestic enterprises have begun to build 5g smart terminals supporting millimeter wave based on Xiaolong chips. For example, the 5g smart phones supporting millimeter wave launched by Yijia in the North American market have achieved good response; ZTE is also producing CPE supporting millimeter wave based on Xiaolong 5g solution.

The reason why millimeter wave 5g intelligent terminals can flourish is that it is reported that up to now, Qualcomm has launched three generations of Xiaolong 5g modems and RF systems, and each generation supports millimeter wave; Moreover, in order to make the 5g smart terminal supporting millimeter wave compact and slim, reduce the design difficulty of mobile phone manufacturers, meet the power consumption requirements, provide maximum performance and speed up the time to market of the terminal, Qualcomm has also successively launched a number of millimeter wave modules integrating antenna, radio front-end and transceiver in a very compact size.

From the current development trend, it is expected that more and more terminals supporting millimeter wave will enter the market in the future.

The follow-up development of millimeter wave can be expected

When deploying a millimeter wave 5g base station, if there is a lack of optical fiber resources, the problem can be solved through IAB (integrated access and return). Compared with traditional optical fiber deployment, IAB can not only enhance the flexibility of deployment, reduce costs and significantly shorten the deployment time, but also have the ability to excite the industry. According to Ji Tingfang, the test results of millimeter wave system simulation conducted by Qualcomm in Frankfurt, Germany (initially deployed 4 gnodeb base stations and then added 15 IAB nodes) show that, Network throughput increased by 3.4 times; In addition, the simulation test results of advanced power saving algorithms (including wake-up signal and efficient carrier aggregation Management) in rel-16 and future versions show that the terminal can save 37% of power after introducing the enhanced power saving system.

In addition, the millimeter wave 5g terminal is also expected to further develop with high quality, in which it is very important to improve the reliability and quality of the terminal by improving the test capability. Li Yan, senior director of Qualcomm technical standards, introduced at the panel discussion of "GSMA thrive • everything Shenghui" millimeter wave forum, including many domestic test manufacturers' rapid progress in millimeter wave testing recently. However, how to make the terminal quickly capture the millimeter wave beam and complete reliable beam tracking in the mobile environment is still a big challenge. In order to achieve better support in products, new test methods need to be introduced. "Therefore, we also work with 3GPP to promote some dynamic millimeter wave test methods to test the acquisition and tracking of the beam by the terminal in the laboratory environment and repeatable environment, so as to further improve the reliability of the terminal in the operation of the current network." Li Yan said.

In the longer term, according to the plan of rel-17, 5g will support the highest frequency to 71ghz after three versions of evolution. 5g wechat public platform (ID: angmobile) learned that the research project of 52.6ghz-71ghz frequency band in rel-17 includes: necessary enhancement based on the uplink and downlink waveforms of existing NR - applicable subcarrier spacing channel bandwidth, necessary physical layer function design matching with RF devices, existing physical layer channels and key issues of signal supporting the transmission of this frequency band; The beam based channel access method considers the interference with other access points and meets the frequency supervision rules of 52.6ghz-71ghz unlicensed frequency band.


fourHigh, middle and low frequency jointly support 5g to change society

5g system realizes the unified design of medium and low frequency and millimeter wave. The use of millimeter wave expands the application space of 5g, which can not only greatly improve the performance of traditional embB services, but also provide potential broad prospects for applications in various vertical industries. From the perspective of the global deployed millimeter wave 5g commercial network, millimeter wave technology has begun to play its unique advantages over 5g medium and low frequency bandwidth, delay and flexible air interface configuration, which can effectively meet the needs of future wireless communication system capacity, transmission rate and differentiated applications.

Therefore, the combination of medium and low frequency band and millimeter wave band, high, medium and low frequency hybrid networking mode and flexible millimeter wave communication network deployment are becoming the basic architecture trend of mobile communication system in the future. It can be predicted that in the near future, 5g network will bring great improvement of informatization and digitization of the whole society through the joint application of high, medium and low frequency.

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