In terms of functionality, the new RUs will be compatible with the n77, n78 and C-Band 3.7GHz frequency band (3.3-4.2GHz), which is globally used as a 5G frequency. In addition, ultra-multi-element antennas utilising Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) and digital beam-forming for high-precision beams will help to provide high-speed, high-capacity communications between a wider range of terminals.
Also, the new RUs will feature higher output and wider bandwidth when compared to conventional products, thereby expanding the communications area and providing high-speed transmission. NEC's proprietary high-density mounting technology, power saving technology, and fanless design will also enable a compact format that is lightweight and power efficient.
The RUs will conform to O-RAN fronthaul interface specifications defined by the O-RAN Alliance and will be compatible with base station equipment from different vendors, making it possible to realise open, flexible and optimised networks according to a wide range of use cases.
NEC VP of product management 5G products Patrick Lopez said: "NEC has long been developing 5G base station equipment for global markets. As illustrated by the announcement from Vodafone earlier this month, NEC is investing to maintain a market-leading position in the Open RAN ecosystem."
When MIMO technology is implemented as beam-forming, it enables multi radio beams and stabilises radio propagation paths using a massive number of transceivers. This has the benefits of improving the radio signal at the user, by focusing the transmitted power onto the users, rather than evenly distributing the transmitted power across a sector. This in turn, enables higher coding schemes to be maintained to users, increasing the capacity of the cell and improving the speed from a user's perspective. Beam-forming MIMO is one of the developments that NBN Co could deploy to improve their capacity constrained fixed wireless network.
For more information on the NEC solution, visit the NEC Mobile World Congress 2021 Virtual Stand.