Sunrise, Huawei jointly achieved first commercial 5G 3D network deployment in Europe


Huawei's simplified site solution plays an important role in accelerating 5G deployment in Switzerland. Photo: IC

Huawei and Sunrise, the leading Swiss operator, have jointly announced the successful achievement of the first commercial 5G three-dimensional network in Europe. Using Huawei's 5G products and solutions, including the simplified macro station, micro station and digital indoor system, three-layer network architecture has been constructed to achieve full 5G coverage. This is a new milestone for Sunrise and Huawei in their efforts to quicken the 5G rollout and secure Europe's top position in digital infrastructure for Switzerland.

Sunrise is the largest private telecommunications company in Switzerland with the biggest and most advanced 5G network, offering a 5G experience up to 2 Gbps. Through close cooperation with Huawei, Sunrise now provides 5G coverage in more than 262 cities and villages throughout Switzerland, offering maximum 5G speeds to enable broadband internet, HD-TV, interactive gaming services, and so on.

3D Network Architecture Deployment

The first "basic layer" utilizes Sunrise's existing 4G macro sites to realize 5G basic coverage and capacity rapidly, by using 5G simplified macro stations. Over 300 cities and towns across Switzerland are now covered by the Sunrise 5G network.

The second layer, the "supplementary experience layer," is mainly aimed at the edge of the macro site where there is poor coverage, or in areas of heavy traffic. Using micro stations, "Book RRUs" installed on lamp posts can meet the requirement of experience consistency. A Book RRU is small and easy to deploy in multiple scenarios, and it is an essential supplement to macro sites with its excellent performance.

The third layer, the "indoor valuable layer," is built for indoor coverage and to deliver a better user experience. Sunrise is using Huawei's digital indoor system "LampSite," which has been deployed in many places including hotels and pavilions in Zurich and in more than 40 Sunrise shops. Inthe fourth quarter of 2019, Sunrise will launch its "5G Indoor Coverage as a Service" for business-critical applications such as automation and monitoring production processes.

In the 5G era, indoor scenarios are highly important, as indoor 5G will serve not only personal usage but also many vertical industry use cases. With the aim of providing the best 5G experience, Sunrise's strategy is to build up a 5G system based on cutting-edge technologies and future-proof architecture. Transitioning from the traditional DAS to the state-of-the-art DIS (digital indoor system) is the first step, while planning for multi-operator availability to improve investment efficiency will soon be the next step.

Faster 5G Deployment

In view of the lack of pole resources in Switzerland, Huawei's simplified site solution plays an important role in accelerating 5G deployment there. In the single-sector scenario where there is only one pole, Sunrise and Huawei have successfully commercialized Super BladeSite, which includes Blade BBU, Blade RRU, Blade Power, Blade Battery and Blade AAU, which is a highly integrated product of active modules and passive antennas. A full outdoor modular design makes deployment easier in the 5G era.

A Blade AAU combines full-band, multi-system, active and passive modules in one box. A Super AAU is able to run 2, 3, 4 and 5G cells on a single pole. Its highly-compact design complies with Swiss antenna-height limitations. Unlike typical 5G AAU and the separate deployment of 2, 3 and 4G antenna, adding new poles is not required. It can avoid the reconstruction of sites, and it is easy to obtain new sites due to simple infrastructure requirements. 90 percent of the overall time period for 5G site deployment is saved. Pole rental is also significantly cheaper.

When 5G was officially launched in Switzerland in May, Sunrise began 5G deployments in its stores. Customers are now able to try out ultra-fast 1 Gb/s speeds and multiple 5G services in Sunrise stores when they switch to 5G.

In October, the 10th Global Mobile Broadband Forum was held in Zurich. Sunrise and Huawei jointly deployed 5G in the Zurich Marriott hotel, the Holiday Inn hotel and Zurich's exhibition hall using Huawei's 5G LampSite solution. 

By using the 5G indoor network, global attendees enjoyed excellent 5G experiences at the hotel, and tested many innovative applications such as cloud gaming and cloud VR during the event. 5G LampSite, which features digital headend "pRRU" and IT cabling, is easy to install and ready for long-term evolution. It has been serving, and will continue to serve, as an integral part of Sunrise's 5G network.

In addition, Sunrise and Huawei have achieved a top speed of 3.67 Gbps downlink with multiple 5G smartphones in one 5G cell in Zurich. It is a new milestone of Huawei and Sunrise's joint efforts to improve the 5G experience. The continuous improvement of the 5G network's quality and performance will bring about increasing service innovations with broadband internet connections, offering more choice and convenience to people in Switzerland's cities and villages.