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5G Small Cells: 5,000 small base stations for the world's largest airport

5G Small Cells: 5.000 kleine Basisstationen für den weltgrößten Flughafen

5G Small Cells: 5,000 small base stations for the world's largest airport
Picture: Beijing Daxing International Airport

The nationwide 5G rollout requires densification of the network with more antennas. In order to counteract the weak penetration of buildings, base stations with compact dimensions (small cells) must be installed. Huawei offers the LampSite for this. A site is the world's largest airport Beijing-Daxing.

Starfish is its nickname, its IATA and ICAO airport codes are PKX and ZBAD, officially called the Beijing Daxing International Airport. There is talk of the world's largest airport, which was opened at the end of September after only four years of construction (terminal) about 50 kilometers south of China's capital Beijing. The construction costs were over 50 billion euros. The terminal has an area of ​​700,000 m², but due to the star-shaped structure, the walkways are still limited to 600 meters

Many small radio cells with a discreet design

On this vast expanse, the airport not only offers its visitors everything in the journey, but also fast connectivity over 5G with full coverage of the terminal. For this to work, nearly 5,000 compact base stations operated by the three local network providers China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom had to be installed in the building. The mobile service providers rely on Huawei's LampSite, which belongs to the class of small cells for particularly compact mobile phone locations. With a LampSite can cover about 10 to 25 meters after direct line of sight. In the Small Cells product class, Huawei also offers the larger Book RRU (Radio Remote Unit) for outdoor use with a coverage of 200 meters radius. Above that ranks the Easy Macro model.

In addition to 5G, the current standard LTE and WLAN, including the new Wi-Fi 6, can be handled via the box. In contrast to WLAN, mobile radio has the advantage that no first-time log-on is required by the user. By entering the terminal, visitors are connected to a mobile radio network.

Completing WLAN access points with mobile radio

Huawei's LampSite is ideally connected via fiber to provide fast 5G. However, it is also possible to use classic Ethernet, which can be particularly useful if corresponding cables have already been laid in an existing building and former generations of the LampSite that do not yet offer 5G or pure WLAN access points are to be replaced. There can then make a quick exchange for a new model. Designed as a B2B product, Huawei does not quote prices for the LampSite, but according to Huawei, the costs are above those of a pure WLAN installation. Huawei's indoor system is designed next to airports for train stations, exhibition halls, shopping centers or even factories.

Deutsche Telekom relies on new designs for Small Cells

Small Cells will not only play an important role in buildings at 5G, but will also be present in the cityscape. Existing infrastructure such as masts of traffic lights and signs or bus stop display panels can serve as attachment points for the comparatively light base stations. The book model comes to 13 kg, the larger and more powerful Easy Macro to 18 kg.


Small Cell Design The Bird
Small Cell Design The Bird

Small Cell Design 24h5G
Small Cell Design 24h5G

In order to ensure that the cityscape does not suffer from these installations, Deutsche Telekom, materials specialist Covestro and the Swedish Umeå Institute of Design (UID) have developed creative designs for small 5G antennas in a pilot project. The result are the two designs “The Bird” and “24h5G”. The German Telekom wants to put more emphasis on small cells at traffic lights, lanterns or facades in the 5G expansion and connect these exclusively via high-speed fiber.

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