[Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, November 30, 2022] Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Huawei reached a new milestone with the innovation of the SuperLink business solution in Dammam in May. This is the first time in the industry that a single antenna link provides 10 Gbps bandwidth for traditional bands. The link performed well on live networks and provided high performance for the past six months, exactly as designed. This deployment reduces the number of antennas by 67% and the amount of hardware by 70%, providing a simplified, high-bandwidth 5G solution for suburban areas.
Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s pioneer 5G markets, embarked on 5G rollout in 2019. 60% of its 5G sites on active networks use microwaves for data transmission . However, the long range E-band solution is mainly designed for urban areas, which is not suitable for suburban areas. In addition, the deployment of traditional frequency bands places high demands on frequency resources, antennas and tower loads, and the capacity of a single link is less than 5Gbps, which cannot meet to the link bandwidth requirements of 5G.
To solve these problems, STC cooperated with Huawei to continuously innovate and develop the SuperLink solution. This solution can avoid parallel links, reduce the amount of hardware by 70%, greatly reduce the cost of antenna transportation, exchange and rental of the tower by 67%, greatly reducing the TTM and TCO. Additionally, the bandwidth of a single antenna or channel can be easily upgraded up to 10 Gbps.
SuperLink Deployment on STC Live Network
The SuperLink solution consists of a revolutionary multi-band antenna and a Quad Carrier AC ODU.
The multi-band antenna supports 6 GHz, 7 GHz, and 8 GHz, or 13 GHz, 15 GHz, and 18 GHz simultaneously, allowing multiple bands to be deployed on a single antenna for higher bandwidth. This eliminates the need to install multiple antennas to form parallel links. When upgrading capacity, operators do not need to add a new antenna for a new band. This makes deployment and upgrades easier by reducing tower space requirements and antenna realignment.
Quad Carrier CA ODU integrates four channels into a single hardware, saving 75% of ODUs. Additionally, higher modulation modes and higher channel bandwidth are supported to increase the capacity of a single ODU by 400%.
Eng. Bader A. Allhieb, Vice President of Infrastructure at STC Saudi Arabia, said, “SuperLink avoids hardware stacking for high-capacity, long-range microwaves, making deployment easier. It provides higher bandwidth and effectively covers suburban areas with 5G. Additionally, SuperLink can be combined with the long-range E-band solution which can provide seamless coverage in urban areas to accelerate STC’s 5G deployment. »