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Radio Only 5G Small Units in Shenzhen

Huawei calls them “Book RRUs.” They are small, cheap (low thousands and falling), and designed to go everywhere you need a signal. Lightpoles (as pictured), office ceilings, large classrooms, …

The units pictured have 8 antennas (4T4R) and a laboratory speed of a gigabit using 100 MHz of spectrum. Huawei claims reach of about 150 meters up to 50 meters high. (3D networking.)

Radios like this need to be managed through a central BBU – baseband unit. Huawei has been investing in improved software for the BBU.

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Huawei/UNICOM Breakthrough: “Cell-free,” “Distributed Massive MIMO”

Theorists claim a “cell-free” wireless system can roughly double the capacity in the same amount of spectrum. UNICOM is now deploying D-Massive MIMO in indoor locations like stadiums and railroad stations. Multiple Huawei Lampsite 5G are joined together in a “Distributed Indoor System.” The Chinese telcos are looking for indoor units that cost in the low four figures, much less than current “small cells.”

Rather than each Lampsite being a traditional cell, they are all managed in coordination. Up to 64 receive & 64 transmit antennas are centrally managed and optimized.

Essentially, they are all one logical system, reorganized for performance as demand shifts. The software to make this work well needs to be very sophisticated; it must constantly adapt to changes in data traffic.

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New York Receiving Masks and More from Huawei

237 more people died here in New York from Corona Saturday, including a doctor and a nurse. The state has only a week’s worth of essential medical supplies. Singer Rihanna & many more are donating. So is Huawei, which is also donating millions of needed supplies in Africa and Europe.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted ” Thank you to:

-The Office of @NewYorkStateAG for protective masks and gloves -The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in NY (@CICU) for ventilators and PPE -JUDY for N-95 masks –@Huawei for N-95 masks, isolation gowns, medical goggles and gloves

I’m happy to report Jennie and I are safe at home, healthy, and well-provisioned.

Huawei Promotes Controlled Networks, Gets Strong Backing

The dream of telcos for two decades has been to completely control the network, an “Intelligent Network.” Huawei is introducing a new term, deterministic networking, with powerful backing: China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, and the Ministry MIIT.

The 5G Deterministic Network Alliance is also supported by State Grid, the world’s 5th largest company with over a billion electricity customers, Wuhan’s huge Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable, and 40 other companies.

Huawei also promoted in London the concept of “Cloud Native, One Core, Real-time Operation, and Edge Computing” (CORE.) China is about to build Edge Networks to over a billion people. It makes sense to integrate Edge and CORE from the beginning.

Cisco was the great proponent of intelligent networks, promising that the QOS and network control of Cisco routers would produce 10’s of billions in revenue for the carriers. Carriers are still chasing dreams of added revenue, which has been essentially flat for the last five years.

It didn’t happen then, but perhaps in 5G the technology is ready.

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Huawei Ships 10M 5G Phones

“Huawei’s 5G mobile phone shipments have exceeded 10 million units,” Huawei Consumer Business CEO Yu Chengdong reports. That’s 3 million higher than the previous figure, probably representing shipments in January.

That’s a particularly strong performance because the market in China tanked in January. Highly anticipated phone, particularly the Xiaomi Only 20 million phones were shipped in China in January, down 37% compared to January 2019. Corona became a factor late in the month, but it looks like phone sales were also down earlier.

5.465 million 5G phones shipped in China in January. That’s probably more than twice as many as the entire rest of the world, including Korea. It’s a little under plan, which calls for 150 million 5G phones in 2020. The Chinese buy ~400 million phones a year.

About 10% of the country can receive a 5G signal today. More than half will be covered with 5G by the end of 2020. 25% are buying 5G today. By yearend, it will be half or more choosing 5G.

That’s 200 million or more 5G customers in 2020

U.S. Hacks Huawei Networks, Claims “Backdoor,” Like Nokia & Ericsson

All we know is a leak to Bojan Pancevski, Germany correspondent for WSJ. He writes, “U.S. Officials Say Huawei Can Covertly Access Telecom Networks.” The U.S. is almost certainly blowing this up; both Germany and the UK confirmed Huawei purchases after the U.S. shared the classified information.

Neither Pancecski nor anyone speaking publicly has seen evidence this is a deliberate “backdoor,” as the U.S. government called it. Nor has the U.S. found any evidence its been used for spying. Neither can be ruled out because the evidence is hidden.

More likely, the U.S. has discovered a way in. Vint Cerf explains there are two types of systems: those already hacked or those that will be.

U.S. espionage spends $50 billion a year, supporting literally tens of thousands of (often brilliant) people dedicated to infiltration. Huawei gear is target #1.

It would be surprising if the U.S. didn’t find a way in that could be the real story.

Viviane Reding Applauds Huawei Europe Manufacturing


Huawei is negotiating for a European assembly plant for 5G, a move it has been considering since before the political crisis. Viviane Reding said that “Of course this will really be a boost to credibility since the manufacturing would be under European rules”

Reding was a passionate supporter of a better Internet when she was the telecom leading at the EU. She insisted that roaming charges be reduced and eventually eliminated. That brings down consumer costs.

Reducing competition by blocking Huawei and ZTE would raise prices and possibly reduce 5G deployment. That’s a high price to pay unless security risks are proven. Viviane is a conservative who understands competition is crucial.

Huawei is by far the most international company in telecom. It has large research establishments in Canada, Germany, UK, Scandinavia, India, Russia and more. It wants to open a relatively modest chip foundry in England and is scouting locations for manufacturing as well.

There is relatively little labor involved in telecom production so high wages are not a major impediment.

Huawei China’s Largest Software Company

The latest report from MIIT shows Huawei at the top of the list of 100 largest software companies in China. On reflection, that’s not surprising. Half of Huawei’s business is now phones, where chief rival Apple has long considered itself a software company.

The great achievement of Huawei’s phone division was to pull ahead of everyone in the quality of picture-taking. The hardware can be matched; Huawei’s advantage comes from software.

The Hong Meng/Harmony operating system is more than just an Android replacement. It’s already being used on TVs and IoT devices. Huawei’s Cloud division is among the fastest growing, requiring a massive investment in software.

The key performance improvements in telco networks are likely to come from software, not hardware. Massive MIMO and more spectrum are currently the key drivers, but the performance of today’s wireless systems is again approaching Moore’s Law limits.

Reconfiguring beams and coordinating cell sites has enormous potential, which Huawei has demonstrated at trade shows. The location of mobile users shifts very rapidly as people head home from schools and offices at the end of the day. In urban areas, a telco can adjust the overlapping cells to match the traffic demand.

Ultimately, the likely goal is a “no cell” network, constantly reconfigured for maximum efficiency. Huawei is spending heavily on the necessary software.

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Huawei Dives Into DC Swamp

Huawei paid $2.5 million to Michael Esposito in six months. He was selling access to the President and top Republicans. Esposito claimed he

has “an open line of communication to the President of the United States” and is in “regular” contact with the president.

Actually, Esposito is a con man, who was raided by the FBI.

That’s the way things are done in DC. AT&T paid Donald Trump’s bagman Michael Cohen $600,000. It also hired VP Pence’s former chief of staff Bill Smith. Facebook just hired David Redl, who recently was head of NTIA in the Commerce Department. Plenty of Democrats are on the gravy chain, not least Joe Biden’s kids, who knew exactly what they were being paid for.

The likely pay for a senior government official willing to become a lobbyist is $1 million or more, according to Colin Crowell, who once was chief of staff on the House Communications Committee.

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Ekholm of Ericsson: Huawei’s not better

Borje Ekholm, Ericsson CEO, says there’s ‘no one ahead of us’ on 5G — not even Huawei. Huawei’s $17B research budget makes them formidable, but the oft-heard claim that no one comes close is exaggerated. Huawei makes excellent equipment, but they are not the only one.

There’s no simple way to say who’s ahead in a technology with literally a thousand different aspects. Huawei and ZTE delivered Massive MIMO in 2016, two years ahead of the Westerners. But Ericsson is first with field demonstrations of “dynamic spectrum sharing,” which makes 5G in lower frequencies more efficient.

We have field results from Chinese and Korean carriers using both Huawei and Ericsson equipment. There’s no evidence either is ahead.

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