At Mobile World Congress 2016, NEC Corporation announced it had strengthened its Open Stack-based cloud infrastructure solution and that it has developed a massive-element antenna for 5G base stations.
For the cloud infrastructure solution, NEC has partnered with UBIqube, a network and security orchestration software vendor, to reinforce its portfolio of Open Stack-based NEC Cloud System (Open Source Software building model).
By adding UBIqube’s MSActivator Orchestration Framework to NEC Cloud System, NEC will be able to address increasing demand from enterprises and service operators seeking an orchestration agent, capable of managing emerging networking trends such as Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), while also providing easy management of legacy multivendor networking hardware.
Massive-element antenna for 5G base stations
NEC has also developed a prototype of A4-sized massive-element active antenna system (AAS) for 5G small cell base stations.
The low-SHF band-compatible AAS combines the antenna and RF components through the use of a newly developed high-density printed circuit board and an IC that integrates the high radio frequency circuit with the digital circuit, achieving the practical compact size.
In addition, the new AAS has achieved fully-digitised operation of antenna beam control and MIMO pre-coding. This improves the precision of beam forming and achieves high spectral efficiency even when a user distribution is lopsided within a cell or under conditions where there are frequent user movements within a cell, thus contributing to the provision of high-capacity communications.
When used in conjunction with NEC’s spatial multiplexing technologies, the AAS can achieve more than ten times greater per-cell throughput compared with conventional LTE base station.
NEC has conducted a series of trial and experiments of 5G-related technologies with mobile operators such as NTT DOCOMO. NEC and NTT DOCOMO are now working on a new experiment using NEC’s AAS.
Nozomu Watanabe, general manager, Mobile Radio Access Network Division, NEC Corporation, said: “5G communications achieve higher speeds and increased capacity through the utilization of high frequency bands which are capable of securing wider bandwidth. On the other hand, high frequency bands face the issue of heavy propagation loss in communications.
“As a solution to this issue, NEC has focused on beamforming technologies, which improve communication distances and reduce interference, and engaged in the research, development and demonstration of the massive-element AASs that enable more precise beam forming.
“The AAS we recently developed utilises the low-SHF band that is expected to enter into commercial use around 2020. Moving forward, NEC will continue to take the lead in development and demonstration testing aimed at the practical use of AAS.”