Huawei showcased its new OneAir@Smart X private network solution at CeBIT 2016 (pictured) in Hannover last week (17 February 2016). The product provides a wireless solution for industry customers across a wide range of sectors such as manufacturing, logistics, port, power, chemical, open pit, and wISP.
OneAir@Smart X can run on LTE, unlicensed LTE or unlicensed spectrum for Internet of Things deployments with all three converged onto one network if required.
Industrial wireless networks are widespread in enterprise campuses around the world, and are utilised in sectors such as smart factories and intelligent manufacturing. However, the solutions currently applied in enterprises depend on multiple networks, requiring high investment but deliver low efficiency.
These networks are separated, which adds to complex interconnectivity issues. Operation and maintenance (O&M) of these systems are awkward and complex, ultimately ending in higher OPEX figures. Network expansion of such heterogeneous systems may be difficult, which prevents enterprises from launching new services or adapting to changing demands.
To overcome these drawback, Huawei has launched its OneAir@Smart X end-to-end solution to provide complete enterprise services and access types on a single network. OneAir@Smart X networks is designed to deliver reliability, stability, flexibility, and easy installation and maintenance. As a result, wireless networks are gaining momentum quickly as an effective data transmission medium for connecting switches, sensors, controllers, and machines.
Huawei’s OneAir@Smart X solution is based on LTE technologies providing an integrated ICT wireless network. The network carries multiple services for enterprise campuses, including SCADA, automatic control, data transmission for smart meters and sensors (which utilise the Internet of Things), video surveillance, broadband access, and voice communication including voice trunking and group calls.
According to Huawei, enterprise campuses can easily deploy the unified network with the choice to either utilise frequencies from a dedicated licensed spectrum or the easily accessible unlicensed spectrum.
Three technologies are available for different services and spectrums:
• LTE@Licensed band is based on a dedicated spectrum to provide high-performance data connection and voice communication.
• LTE@Unlicensed band is based on the unlicensed spectrum of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, which are popularly used by Wi-Fi services. LTE application allows for much wider coverage and superior service quality in these bands in comparison to Wi-Fi networks.
• Enterprise Wireless-IoT (eW-IoT) is based on an unlicensed sub-GHz spectrum to provide reliable machine-to-machine connections for collecting information from a massive number of industry devices.
These three wireless technologies can be converged on one wireless private network which is well suited to being deployed in various industry scenarios. Huawei argues that OneAir can meet typical service requirements to ease maintenance, enhance operational efficiency, and reduce network building costs.
OneAir applied on LTE@Licensed bands provides high-performance voice services and data transmission at speeds of 400 Mbps. OneAir also provides up-to-50-km coverage. It offers professional voice trunking services, which include group, pre-emptive, emergency, and P2P calls. Voice service latency offered by OneAir is less than 80 ms, and group call setup times are measured at less than 300 ms.
OneAir applied on LTE@Unlicensed bands provides wireless coverage two or three times as wide as Wi-Fi-based networks using identical bands. The stable wireless connection, is achieved through listen before talk (LBT) and other proprietary anti-interference technologies.
Huawei believes it is ideally suited for high-precision industrial control to ensure seamless coverage, smooth handover, and service provision anytime anywhere. OneAir used for eW-IoT provides broad coverage of an area of 10 km by utilising an exclusive coverage enhancement technology.
eW-IoT terminals adopt power saving mode (PSM) technologies to reduce power consumption and extend battery life to a maximum of 10 years. Huawei eW-IoT transmits relatively smaller data packets in comparison with public LTE networks and supports massive connections to improve system capacity.
eW-IoT adopts a proprietary anti-interference technology to guarantee robust connections and successful data transmission for real-time industrial meter and sensor reading.
Deployment and maintenance
Since frequencies are a scarce resource with many of them assigned to public mobile operators, it is important for industries to adapt to scattered frequency bands. The OneAir@Smart X solution supports both licensed and unlicensed spectrums and provides a wide choice of frequencies for a variety of markets.
Enterprises can select one or more frequencies according to their specific needs. Different types of AirNode base stations can be easily installed in different places, such as on ceilings, walls, poles, or on top of structures.
In addition, Huawei's eW-IoT network management system uniformly manages terminals, base stations, and service engines to further simplify network management. Terminals can be remotely and centrally maintained through air interfaces, reducing subsequent O&M costs.
The open OneAir@Smart X solution provides a software development kit (SDK) for incremental customisation, which enables seamless integration between OneAir services and other industry services. In this manner, dispatchers initiate voice, video, and data services and perform dispatching on the existing system.
Huawei's handheld smart terminals, which run on an intelligent OS, also support incremental customisation to match the industry service system. In addition, wireless modules with standard interfaces can be integrated together by various industry terminals to enable access to the OneAir system.