Huawei: Dual-beam antenna solution delivers 70% capacity boost for AIS Thailand

Huawei released a dual-beam antenna solution that it says improves on the shortcomings of the traditional 6-sector solution, and it's already deployed it with Advanced Info Service (AIS) in Thailand, which improved capacity by 70 percent.

Traditional 6-sector networks use six common antennas with a 33-degree horizontal beam width. Capacity improvement is negligible as the side lobe interference becomes a noticeable issue. Meanwhile, the increased number of antennas also presents an additional challenge to the tower space. Thus, the multi-sector network is not a viable solution for large-scale commercialization, Huawei explained in a press release.

Huawei's dual-beam antenna supports two horizontal beams with a width of 33 degrees, meaning the 6-sector network requires only three Huawei dual-beam antennas. Because the antenna width remains the same, "these features save much more antenna space for operators, realizing a soft upgrade and capacity expansion in existing 3-sector sites," the company said.

AIS is reaping the benefits. "Offering our subscribers the best MBB (mobile broadband) experience is our primary concern and the main reason why at this time, we expanded our network capacity on a large scale," AIS said in the release. "Thanks to Huawei's 6-sector solution and dual-beam antenna, we can achieve this target. Moreover, we firmly believe that this solution will bring tremendous value to other operators as well."

AIS Thailand carried out its largest subscriber migration from 2G to 3G in 2013. Now AIS and fellow Thailand operators True Corp and Total Access Communications, say they're ready for 4G auctions, issuing a joint statement late last year saying they are ready to participate in 4G spectrum auctions. The government postponed auctions last year and now plans to hold a 4G spectrum auction by this September, Reuters reported.

Huawei was on a bit of a tear late last year in the area of 5G, announcing a 2018 World Cup target for a 5G trial with Russian operator MegaFon. It also committed to invest almost $8 million in a 5G test bed at the University of Surrey and struck a deal with Singapore's SingTel to launch 5G innovation programs.

For more:
- see the press release
- see this Telecom Lead article

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