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Three urgent problems to be solved in the telecom industry

November 23, 2021 by IPLOOK
Since the release of 5G licenses in China from 2019, the commercial 5G deployment has been accelerated rapidly. Moreover, the new infrastructure has already embarked on promoting the 5G deployment, but for operators, there are still three urgent problems to be solved urgently.

The first problem: the energy consumption of gNodeBs is three times more than eNodeBs, which needs to be reduced as soon as possible.
As we all know, the energy consumption is the most challenging difficulties for operators.
According to the statistic from 2017 to 2020 (as below diagram), it can be seen that even though the energy consumption of gNodeBs has already decreased dramatically by the joint effort of the industrial partners in telecom industry, it is still three times more than eNodeBs.

the tendency of the energy consumption caused by gNodeBs
Under the normal operation, RF (Radio Frequency) accounts for most of the proportion of the energy consumption caused by gNodeBs. Processing gNodeBs also occupies several energy resources because of its requirement of high processing capability for high rate required by wide bandwidth in 5G.
Therefore, enhancing the energy efficiency is the key to reducing the energy consumption caused by gNodeBs. After solving this problem, operators are able to deploy and develop more gNodeBs without any worries.

The second requirement: 5G Wireless cloudification deployment requires high-capacity equipment.
The direction of developing 5GC (5G Core Network) is based on cloudification. It is expected to concentrate the processing capability in the future 5G wireless network, enabling operators to lower the cost on the deployment of data center. 
However, cloud-based wireless network still has several difficulties to be overcame because of the lack of advancing capabilities.
In the preliminary period of 5G deployment, it may be challenging to be compatible with LTE. Furthermore, a piece of PCB can not support two modes of 4G and 5G simultaneously. It means that two baseband boards are required for the normal and simultaneous operation of 4G and 5G.
In a word, to meet the requirements of wireless cloudification deployment, enhancing the capability of microchips applied in gNodeBs is essential.

The third requirement: the specification of equipment should become lightweight in virtue of the increasing weight and volume of gNodeB.
Regarding the network deployment, there is another issue needs to be considered: antenna plays a pivotal role in the transmission of radio wave. By using active antenna in 5G, 5G AUU weighs twice as much as; its volume is four times than 4G RRU.

5G AUU weighs twice as much as; its volume is four times than 4G RRU.
In the long run, it’s significant to innovate the lightweight equipment, requiring integrated components, the efficiency of radiator and lightweight materials and other relevant factors.
Regarding the pain point of the end-to-end industry chain, the lightweight and miniaturization of 5G equipment needs to be promoted by the whole telecom industry jointly to reduce its volume and weight so as to enhance the efficiency of radiator and lower the CAPEX for operators.

To solve these problem fundamentally, all industrial partners in chain should: 
1. Start with the requirement of deployment to evaluate various application scenarios and its adapted type and architecture of gNodeBs.
2. Define the standard of reasonable and carrier-grade indications and evaluate the gNodeB and its network capabilities based on these indications.
3. Encourage the application of core components to promote the development of the whole industry.

When 5G deployment is developed in all industries, the competition of 5G becomes much more stronger in the world.
As the crucial part of 5G communication, core components is also the most difficult part to break through under the circumstance of complicated status, strictly threatening the security of the whole 5G supply chain.
Therefore, the improvement of enhancing the capability of core components is necessary and urgent. 
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