Thursday 10 December 2020

ZTE's PAD and iMacro gets 5G Upgrade

ZTE announced the Pad base stations back in 2015. From the press release:

The Pad series base stations use a distributed architecture to provide flexible networking models, meeting multi-point and multi-sector coverage requirements. The Pad baseband unit (BBU) is only one third the size of similar products making it the world's smallest outdoor BBU, and can be installed in a concealed location.

The Pad series also features a newly released remote radio unit (RRU), The Pad RRU is a similar size to a tablet, has built-in antennas, and can be mounted to poles, walls, or other common locations in stations, buildings, and streets, allowing for easy site selection for intensive coverage. With low transmit power and interference, the Pad RRU provides seamless network coverage through macro-micro coordination. Multiple Pad RRUs can be included in a logical cell to reduce handovers and provide better user experience.

Earlier this year, ZTE announced in another press release:

ZTE and the Hangzhou branch of China Telecom have deployed the industry’s first 4G/5G dual-band micro RRU supporting 3.5 GHz frequency band in Hangzhou, China. With the downlink rate reaching 1.1Gbps, it can provide users with excellent 4G/5G network experiences.

Featuring 2.1GHz LTE anchors, the latest 4G/5G dual-band 4T4R products of ZTE’s 5G Pad RRU series can realize the fast NSA network commissioning, guaranteeing the service experience of 4G/5G coverage in a 5G SA network. Moreover, it supports 3G/4G/5G multi-mode, and 200 MHz continuous ultra-large bandwidth on 3.5 GHz frequency band. 

In addition, the 4G/5G dual-band micro RRU is small in size, light in weight,  and quick to deploy, thus effectively solving the challenge of insufficient site resources and realizing fast 5G signal coverage extension. 

The pad RRU is usually installed on smart light poles, which integrate HD camera, environmental monitoring, weather sensor, screen, and new-energy vehicle charging functions. Therefore, smart light poles can monitor the real-time road conditions, such as flood, to avoid potential hazards.  

Moreover, the smart light poles can be used as a site location for 5G micro RRUs to solve the problem of insufficient coverage, and transfer live information of smart light poles in real time.

iMacro base station was launched in 2015 as well. From the press release:

The new iMacro base station, with integrated RFUs (radio frequency unit) and antennas of compactness and high performance, was debuted at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2015 conference in Shanghai. iMacro joins other products of the ZTE multi-scenario coverage product family, including the Pad series outdoor base stations and Qcell indoor coverage solutions, helping operators to build high-quality 4G networks.

Due to a large number of pedestrian streets, commercial streets, residential areas, and other densely-populated areas alongside urban streets, it is difficult to build new sites, leading to increasingly prominent problems of urban street coverage. Integrated RF unit and antenna unit, ultra broadband power amplification, together with its small size, light weight, compact design, and even one device is capable of multiple frequency bands, ZTE iMacro base station is what exactly operators desire. Moreover, iMacro base station is featured with flexible and rapid deployment without any site resources, which effectively makes the deployment alongside urban streets easier.

The iMacro base station, which can be pole-mounted or wall-mounted, is suitable for installation on lampposts along urban roads and bus station awnings, and can even be placed on the lamp poles along the roads or building’s fa├žade. In the absence of new site resources, the iMacro base station provides intensive coverage in densely-populated areas, effectively enhancing the quality and capacity of network coverage. In addition, the iMacro base station with a compact and elegant appearance can perfectly blend in with the surrounding environment.

In addition to the technology innovation, ZTE also concerns the friendliness and convenience of network deployment. iMacro can connected to external devices through a single power cable and an optical fiber that is connected to the BBU, and multiple iMacro base stations are connected to one remote BBU, allowing for flexible and rapid network deployment, and significantly reducing deployment costs.

Anyway, here is a recent video on PAD and iMacro that ZTE shared on their YouTube channel

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