ZTE and China Telecom

ZTE and China Telecom set another 5G first

15 July 2020 | Melanie Mingas

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ZTE and the Hunan branch of China Telecom have jointly launched China's first commercial 5G SA Massive MIMO 1+X SSB (synchronization signal and PBCH block) site with three-dimensional coverage on 3.5 GHz.

According to the operators, the 5G 1+X SSB solution can offer a better coverage, higher data rate, and lower TCO, addressing the requirement of spreading network coverage in dense urban areas with high-rise buildings, and thereby showcasing the “technological superiority” of 5G Massive MIMO in vertical coverage.

As an innovative solution introduced by ZTE, the 5G 1+X SSB solution has leveraged the 5G Massive MIMO technology into the flexible and controllable 5G network coverage in multidimensional space with better performance. 1 here refers to the wide beam with power boosting, providing better basic coverage than the traditional seven-beam configurations. X can be configured on demand to expand vertical coverage and achieve optimal performance in various three-dimensional coverage scenarios.

In a statement, ZTE and China Telecom said the successful commercial application in Zhuzhou had “verified the superior performance of the 5G 1+X SSB solution, providing a cost-effective and easy-to-deploy three-dimensional coverage solution to the high-end residential and commercial districts, realising the comprehensive coverage and capacity expansion”.

Use case

The 5G 1+X SSB site was built for the near 30-storey Dongfan International Building in Zhuzhou, China, using one horizontal wide beam and three vertical beams for three-dimensional and in-depth network coverage.

Compared with the traditional seven-beam sites, the 5G 1+X SSB site offered better coverage solving more than 90% of the indoor weak coverage problems, while increasing the in-depth coverage rate to over 20%, and the overall coverage rate to over 40%.  

Moreover, the solution can increase the data rate in the weak coverage areas by 49.5%. On the 29th floor with very weak signal, the downlink rate has stably reached speeds in excess of 100Mbps after the new site was set up. In addition, the power consumption reduced by 5% to 10% during the low traffic periods, hence the lower TCO.

Moving forward, ZTE said it will continue to work with China Telecom to further expand the application of 5G Massive MIMO 1+X SSB solution in the commercial 5G networks, thereby fully leveraging its values in vertical coverage, network capacity and power consumption.

Stated-backed operators China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom launched 5G services for consumers in November 2019, making China the world’s largest 5G market following the license awards the previous June.

The new services were launched across 50 Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, with prices as low as $18. More than 10 million users registered for 5G plans ahead of the launch.

According to a forecast by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association, China is set to become the world's largest 5G market by 2025, with 460 million 5G users. As such it has ploughed significant sums into new infrastructure and construction projects, benefiting 5G base stations, data centres, industrial internet, artificial intelligence, new energy vehicle charging infrastructure, and intercity high-speed rail network.