One of the keys to 5G’s speed increase is the use of higher-frequency shorter range wireless signals, which therefore also requires the installation of many more base stations – an expensive proposition for networks.
In an interview posted on their own site, Huawei explains why their technology gives carriers the ability to do this at an affordable rate.
The power consumption per bit of our 5G base station is ten times lower than 4G, and the size is 70% smaller. Our 5G base station is very small indeed, about the same size as a briefcase. It’s also light – about 20 kilograms. You don’t have to build a cell phone tower for 5G base stations, because they can be installed anywhere – on poles or walls. They can work for decades because they are made of anti-corrosion materials. This means that our 5G equipment can be installed even in underground sewage systems. It is especially suitable for European markets, where there are many areas with historical buildings and it’s impossible to build giant cell phone towers like those in China. Of course, the existing towers in China won’t lay idle, because our 5G base stations can be installed on them too – it’s just that we don’t need to build new towers.
With our 5G base stations, our customers in Europe can reduce their engineering costs by 10,000 euros per site. They won’t need to use cranes for installation, and they won’t need to build cell phone towers. In the past, our customers had to use cranes to install huge pieces of base station equipment, and the surrounding roads had to be blocked off during the installation process. Now, they can easily install our 5G base stations by hand. It’s super easy.
With a large city requiring more than 10,000 base stations, the money and time saved from being able to hand deploy them in minutes rather than spending hours hiring cranes and closing roads makes Huawei’s solution extremely compelling. While there are other competitors in this area, it is widely acknowledged that Huawei’s kit is not just the cheapest but the best. For the sake of the smooth roll-out of the supposedly revolutionary 5G carrier network, we hope USA and China find a way to settle their differences.