Monday, May 25, 2020

Huawei claims breakthrough in 5G antenna technology - here's what it brings

Chinese multinational company Huawei has claimed a breakthrough in the 5G antenna technology that brings reduced radiation and power utilisation besides better quality integration between the base station and the antenna. 

The company says that the new technology, called CableFree, is a breakthrough in mobile antenna design as it comes with the large cache of cables that existing towers possess. Additionally, it integrates a unique phase-shifter design that better integrates the unit with the base station, a prepared statement from Huawei says.

CableFree technology has already been used for a couple of Huawei devices including Huawei’s Munich Pro, Golden Mini, and London Pro series antennas, as well as 32T32R Massive MIMO products. This helps customers to quickly deploy high-quality 5G networks, says a prepared statement shared by Huawei. 

The timing of this claim around low-radiation 5G antennas could be related to the events across Europe in mid-April when more than 70 cases of cell towers being set on fire were reported from Britain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium and Cyprus. The issue caught the imagination of people facing lockdowns over the Covid-19 virus after some posts claiming a connection between 5G towers and the virus went viral.

Many of these posts over social media pushed a conspiracy theory claiming that 5G  suppressed the immune system, thus making people more susceptible to the disease or that the virus was somehow transmitted using the latest telecom technology. 

Scientists had come out rubbishing these claims with Dr. Simon Clarke, an associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, telling BBC that the idea of 5G towers reducing immunity doesn't stand up to scrutiny. 

Some of the benefits that Huawei claimed include:

  • CableFree technology improves antenna radiation efficiency by approximately 20%, thereby also helping it increase coverage area. 
  • It improves the antenna power capacity by more than 80%. With this, it meets the greater output power requirements of the 5G era.
  • Being of lower weight, the antenna is easier to install and avoids the use of cranes and other lifting equipment, thus simplifying the process and cutting costs
  • It cuts down connecting joints and nuts and bolts by as much as 80% thus reducing passive intermodulation produces signal interference. 

The Chinese company has been facing rough weather over its proximity to the regime in Beijing which has resulted in several governments either seeking to remove them as a tech partner for their mobile telephony infrastructure or wanting to cap the company's  market share in the business. 

The United States and Australia took a strong stand against the company and reports indicate that the United Kingdom may be following suit. The Trump administration has also included Huawei India along with its other foreign subsidiaries in its Entity List that bans them from doing business in the country. 

 

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