Huawei aims to open up 2G refarming with new solution

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Huawei has released new spectrum refarming technology that allows operators to upgrade 2G holdings to 3G even when they have limited spectrum resources.

The vendor said the GU@5MHz solution is designed for operators keen to upgrade their 900MHz holdings. It said existing solutions require 6.2MHz of bandwidth within the carrier in order to refarm and shift from GSM to UMTS.

However, Huawei said up to 15 percent of operators only have 5-6Mhz of bandwidth within the 900MHz band, meaning they are stuck.

The vendor said its solution uses "spectrum overlapping technology", which is a mixture of inter-radio access technology joint scheduling and super narrowband filter technology. Huawei said this eliminates interference caused by the overlapping 2G and 3G spectrum.

Huawei said the solution allows a 3G network to be deployed by using only 5MHz of bandwidth, while also allowing GSM terminals to continue to operate on the spectrum.

Another feature of the solution is it allocating more spectrum resources to UMTS as GSM traffic needs decline.

Wang Yixiang, President of Huawei Wireless Network GSM, UMTS and CDMA Product Line, said: "The GU@5MHz solution redefines refarming and will help operators eliminate spectrum bottlenecks and achieve business success with MBB network development."

Despite the industry shift to LTE, 35 percent of mobile internet users, or 1.18 billion people, are on 2G, according to figures from the GSMA in June 2016. Around 1.40 billion users are on 3G networks, the equivalent of 42 percent of total. Twenty three percent, or 750 million people, of mobile internet users are on LTE.