Telkomsel launches Huawei's CloudAir 2.0 for dynamic spectrum sharing

Monday 5 March 2018 | 13:07 CET | News

Indonesian operator Telkomsel has commercially launched the CloudAir 2.0 service, a system to deliver 2G, 3G and 4G services in the same spectrum frequencies. According to Huawei, from the verification in Telkomsel's live network, the platform increases the mobile broadband cell edge user experience significantly. Telkomsel will use the system to help transition customers from 2G to 4G. 

The application of spectrum cloudification increases LTE user downlink speed throughput by 116 percent, from 50Mbps to 108Mbps, according to Huawei in a presentation at Mobile World Congress. In addition, the implementation of channel cloudification improves the carrier aggregation coverage for outdoor areas by 21.4 percent, as well as two to three times user experience improvement for indoor areas, Huawei added.

Telkomsel is growing its 4G base quickly in cities, but still has around 70 million customers with 2G feature phones. The company is using CloudAir to ensure it can continue to serve all the different segments of radio technology.  The operator has a mix of 900, 1800, 2,100 and soon 2,300 MHz (TDD) spectrum. LTE is being deployed on all four bands, but a minimum needs to be reserved for 2G where there is still demand. 

The spectrum cloudification capabilities of CloudAir are designed to enable the deployment of different radio access technologies (RAT) in the same spectrum. This platform can dynamically allocate and adjust spectrum resources according to the changes of traffic and avoid the legacy RAT taking up prime spectrum, improving spectrum efficiency.

Meanwhile, channel cloudification technology combines the advantages of larger downlink bandwidth of high bands and better uplink coverage of low bands. The high band, such as the 1,800 MHz range, is selected as the uplink at near point and midpoint for capacity, while the low band (900 MHz) is selected as the uplink at the cell edge to compensate the coverage limitation of high band. The coordination between LTE high band and low band channel cloudification can improve the coverage of macrocells and improve the cell edge user experience, especially for LTE indoor coverage areas.

Huawei is developing the platform also for combining 5G New Radio with existing LTE networks. The 3GPP standards group calls this ‘Seamless Resource Sharing’, combining LTE and 5G NR in a single band. 

The decoupling of the downlink and uplink within a band can also be used by operators preparing for 5G. Huawei offers operators a roll-out model with a massive MIMO antenna for the 3.5 GHz band and a standard active antenna for 1.8 GHz. With CloudAir, the smartphone can use the 3.5 GHz band both for 4G downlink and uplink. As the distance between the mast and phone becomes larger, the uplink can shift to the 1,800 MHz band. 

CloudAir 1.0 was launched in 2017 and is deployed already on more than 30 mobile networks. Huawei developed the platform further with Telkomsel at the Joint Innovation Center 2.0, which has now been renamed JIC3.0 to underline the continuation of the strategic partnership. 

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